Posts Tagged ‘Lake George

20
Jan
23

Text: ‘Golden splendour: privilege, ceremony and racism in 1920s-1930s Australia’ on the photo album ‘John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell (1892-1960), 1922-1933’ Part 2

January 2023

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers should be aware that this posting contains images and names of people who may have since passed away.

 

 

W Lister Lister (27 Dec 1859 - 06 Nov 1943) 'The golden splendour of the bush' c. 1906

 

W Lister Lister (27 Dec 1859 – 06 Nov 1943)
The golden splendour of the bush
c. 1906
Oil on canvas
Frame: 294 x 245.0 x 13.5cm
Art Gallery of New South Wales

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

 

Abstract

Discovered in an op shop (charity shop in America), this is the most historically important and exciting Australian photo album that I have ever found.

Belonging to John “Jack” Riverston Faviell, a senior New South Wales public accountant and featuring his photographs, the album ranges across the spectrum of Australian life and culture from the East to the West of the continent in the years 1922-1933. A list of locations and topics can be seen below. I have added additional research text, posters and photographs to help illuminate some of the issues under consideration.

Given its importance in documenting through photographs regional NSW, Indigenous Australians and the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the album is now in the State Library of New South Wales collection.

 

Keywords

Australian culture, Australian identity, Australian colonialism, Indigenous Australians, photography, photo album, Australian photography, Australian vernacular photography, racism, Australian racism, racism in Australia, White Australia, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Trans-Australian Railway, State Library of New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia, rural New South Wales, country races, Kalgoorlie Boulder, pearling, gold mining, Year of Mourning, Invasion Day, National Day of mourning, First Nations of Australia, reconciliation, pastoralism

 

 

Golden splendour: privilege, ceremony and racism in 1920s-1930s Australia

This text investigates the photographs found in an important Australian album discovered in an op shop (charity shop in America) belonging to John “Jack” Riverston Faviell (see part one of the posting), a senior New South Wales public accountant who associated with important pastoralists and bankers of the time, invested in business, travelled across the continent, went to many functions, married Sydney socialite Melanie Audrey Pickburn in February 1925 (divorced October 1930) and built a house on prestigious Darling Point overlooking Sydney Harbour.

The album features Faviell’s photographs and was probably compiled by him, the photographs ranging across the spectrum of Australian life and culture from the East to the West of the continent in the years 1922-1933. A list of locations and topics can be seen below. The album has been assembled in near chronological order although some later dates precede earlier ones (for example, “Frensham Pastoral Play” of 8th December 1923 precedes “La Perouse” 7 November 1923; “Trip to Canberra” 5/6 Nov 1927 precedes “Jenolan Caves Trip” 10/12th July, 1927; and some images from 1927 sit side by side with photographs from October and November 1932). There are no dates for Faviell’s trip to Western Australia (presumably in early 1924) and the dating starts again with a polo competition for “The Dudley Cup” in 1924 after this trip.

Taken in Scotland and sent by a man named Robert Reid from that country there is only one overseas photograph in the album. The photograph, which was presumably taken on Faviell’s honeymoon, is titled “Ellen’s Isle, Loch Katrine, Scotland (Audrey & me in boat) 1925”, and is inserted unceremoniously into photographs dating from 1927. There is no other reference to his marriage or photographs of it or his honeymoon in the album. The handwriting and grid-like layout of the photographs are consistent from front to back, and the photographs are mostly of the same size and shape (meaning he used the same camera throughout the period), other than photographs that Faviell did not take (including the “honeymoon” photograph from Scotland and the photographs of Jenolan Caves taken by Lady Dorothy Hope-Morley).

Thinking of the order that the photographs have been inserted into the album means to my mind that it was consciously assembled by Faviell probably after the date of the last photograph in the album which is November 1933 – although it is possible that he assembled it as he went along, inserting the “honeymoon” photograph from 1925 into the 1927 pages, and some earlier 1927 photographs next to the ones from 1932. But it just doesn’t feel like the latter to me… everything is too ordered to be done as he went along.

One important element of the album are John Faviell’s photographs which document his life in rural New South Wales as he attends various country race meetings, schools, historic houses, pastoral farms, regatta, and business ventures in the state during the 1920s. A second important element is the documentation of “Aboriginal Types” along the Trans-Australian Railway, gold mining in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and pearling and Aboriginals in Shark Bay, the latter two in Western Australia. Finally, important unpublished photographs of the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932 give insight into the pageantry and colonialism of white Australia.

 

Privilege

A feeling of privilege – defined as a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group – pervades the photographs in the album. Faviell belonged to a particular social category which had an inherently privileged and advantageous position.

This is evidenced by his friendship with wealthy New South Wales graziers such as O.E. Friend (d. 1942) who was President of the Royal Historical Society and Director of the Commercial Banking Co., and who had a keen interest in pastoral pursuits and business investments; by photographs of large houses and pastoral stations such as “Weroona”, Belmont (demolished 1979), “Doona”, Breeza and “Foxlow”, Bungendore near Canberra which consisted of 7,500 hectares of land; by photographs of country horse races, friends who owned race horses and polo matches; by photographs of new cars; by photographs of his own investment projects such as the Doona Cyprus Pine Venture; by photographs of his travel to Western Australia and five-day cruise on the Cutter “Shark”; by photographs of “Old Boys” from Camden Grammar School, a term redolent of the English public school system; by building a house on one of the most exclusive promontories overlooking Sydney Harbour; by getting married in one of the “biggest social events of the month in Sydney”; and so it goes… the (British) class system alive and well in 1920s Australia, still an extension of the Empire.

What we should remember is that, after the end of the First World War the “1920s saw a higher level of material prosperity for non-Indigenous people than ever before.” Despite the rising affluence of the 1920s the Australian unemployment rate floated between 6% and 11% throughout the decade. Then, in October 1929, the world experienced a stock market crash on Wall Street in New York that plunged the world into the Great Depression (1929-1934). By 1932, one third of all Australians were out of work.

“Australia suffered badly during the period of the Great Depression of the 1930s… As in other nations, Australia suffered years of high unemployment, poverty, low profits, deflation, plunging incomes, and lost opportunities for economic growth and personal advancement. Unemployment reached a record high of around 30% in 1932, and gross domestic product declined by 10% between 1929 and 1931… Many hundreds of thousands of Australians suddenly faced the humiliation of poverty and unemployment. This was still the era of traditional social family structure, where the man was expected to be the sole bread winner. Soup kitchens and charity groups made brave attempts to feed the many starving and destitute. The male suicide rate spiked in 1930 and it became clear that Australia had limits to the resources for dealing with the crisis. The depression’s sudden and widespread unemployment hit the soldiers who had just returned from war the hardest as they were in their mid-thirties and still suffering the trauma of their wartime experiences. At night many slept covered in newspapers at Sydney’s Domain or at Salvation Army refugees.”1

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Due to his wealth, his privileged family life and position in society, Faviell obviously felt none of the effects of the Great Depression. Although there are no photographs in the album taken between 1928 and 1931, by November 1932 he was buying a new Chrysler 70 motorcar. You can’t do that without money.

 

Ceremony

Faviell attended the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on the 20th March 1932 sitting in the official stands, taking what are up until now previously unknown photographs of the Federal and State Governors arriving and the pageantry of the official opening (see photographs below). The ceremony featured a passing parade of groups, floats and attractions including Naval Guard, Mounted Police, Cobb & Co. Coach, Old King Street Bus, an early Hupmobile car, the first Auto-Gyro, Wool Float, surf girls, Pioneers Float and Aborigines. Also present in the parade at the Bridge’s opening ceremony was a contingent from the Aboriginal community of La Perouse on Sydney’s Botany Bay. According to the series Australia in Colour, “The first Australians are a token inclusion in the celebrations. They are not classed as citizens in their own country and have no voting or legal rights…”2 State and federal governments still saw Indigenous Australians as, “the native problem.” “For most city people, the only contact with Indigenous groups was watching tent boxing at the travelling shows which used to flourish in the ’30s.”3 But things were beginning to change. Indigenous Australians were slowly being politicised in order to get their message across, with pleas for better rights, conditions and representation.

Five years later, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of European settlement in Australia in 1938 there was a re-enactment of Governor Phillip’s landing in which Aborigines (specially brought in for the occasion) are shown running up the beach as the boats of the First Fleet marines land at Farm Cove (see photograph below). A group of white dignitaries sits in comfortable safety watching the invasion. Elsewhere on that day in 1938 – Wednesday, 26th January – there took place the first Day of Mourning and Protest at the Australian Hall, Sydney. The protest, calling for full citizen status and equality, was led by William Cooper, Pearl Gibbs, Jack Patten and William Ferguson (see photographs and poster below). Cooper and his fellow Aboriginal men Jack Patten and William Ferguson organised a conference to grieve the collective loss of freedom and self-determination of Aboriginal communities as well as those killed during and after European settlement in 1788. “The first Day of Mourning was a culmination of years of work by the Australian Aborigines League (AAL) and the Aborigines Progressive Association (APA). It would became the inspiration for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activism throughout the remainder of the twentieth century.”4

“In 1938, William Cooper had thrown down a challenge. It was 150 years since the landing of the ragtag British ‘first fleet’ in Sydney Cove on 26 January in 1788. As white Australians were preparing to celebrate, Cooper had branded that landing as the beginning of 150 years of invasion, dispossession and exploitation. Cooper dared white Australia to recognise that their ‘Australia Day’ was no celebration but instead a ‘Day of Mourning’ for invaded Australia. …

A forced reenactment. For the 150th Anniversary, Aboriginal people were forced to participate in a reenactment of the landing of the First Fleet under Captain Arthur Phillip. Aboriginal people living in Sydney had refused to take part so organisers brought in men from Menindee, in western NSW, and kept them locked up at the Redfern Police Barracks stables until the re-enactment took place. On the day itself, they were made to run up the beach away from the British – an inaccurate version of events. It was Cook who was first “threatened and warned off by the Indigenous people on the shore” and he then decided to fire gun shots.”5

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Anita Heiss observes of that day in 1938, “The day also saw an appalling contrast. Aboriginal organisations in Sydney refused to participate in the government’s re-enactment of the events of January 1788. In response, the government transported groups of Aboriginal people from western communities in NSW to Sydney to partake in the re-enactments. The visitors were locked up at the Redfern Police Barracks stables and members of the Aborigines Progressive Association were denied access to them. After the re-enactment of the First Fleet landing at Farm Cove (Wuganmagulya), the visiting group of Aboriginal people were featured on a float parading along Macquarie Street.”6

Finally, by 1988, the re-enactments were discontinued. 50 years later to the day, on the occasion of the Australian Bicentenary in 1988 (the same year named a Year of Mourning by and for the Australian Aboriginal people), the protests against British invasion were even more prominent and vigorous, as Aboriginal people and their supporters rallied in Sydney and around the country. “On 26 January that year, up to 40,000 Aboriginal people (including some from as far away as Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory) and their supporters marched from Redfern Park to a public rally at Hyde Park and then on to Sydney Harbour to mark the 200th anniversary of invasion.”7

“On 26 January 1988, more than 40,000 people, including Aborigines from across the country and non-Indigenous supporters, staged what was the largest march in Sydney since the Vietnam moratorium. …

The march was seen as a challenge to the dominant society’s hegemonic construction of Australia day and what it represented. It was a statement of survival, demonstrating that although Australian history had excluded the indigenous voice, Aborigines as the original inhabitants of this place were not going to continue to be beggars in their own country. The march served to draw both national and international attention to Australia’s appalling human rights record. It aimed to educate the public about the poor conditions of Aboriginal health, education and welfare, of the high imprisonment rates and the number of deaths in custody suffered by Indigenous Australians. Activists such as Gary Foley called on Australians to join the Aboriginal protests and to make the point to the rest of Australia that the whole concept of the Bicentennial is based on hypocrisy and lies. …

There had been little emphasis on the need to address indigenous aspirations as a precondition to celebrating the bicentenary. The protest march was both an affirmation of indigenous Australians’ survival and a stark reminder of the falsity on which the celebration was premised. Celebrations focused on the discovery of Australia with a re-enactment of the arrival of the first fleet. However, the Aboriginal protest was a reminder that Australia had been inhabited at least 40,000 years before European arrival.”8

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As the editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper on January 19, 1988 noted, “scarcely a day of the Bicentenary has passed when issues involving Aborigines and their “Year of Mourning” protests have not featured prominently…” which “instigated public debate concerning white and indigenous Australian history, the position of Aborigines in contemporary society and the possibilities of land rights and reconciliation in the future.”9 But despite these protests many Australians, myself included – newly arrived from England and still homesick for the mother country, failing to grasp the enormity of the betrayal – did not understand the protests. “Despite Indigenous people declaring January 26 a National Day of mourning fifty years prior in 1938, many of the non-Indigenous majority still failed to see any disrespect in celebrating an occasion made possible by the murder, massacre, dispossession, slavery and attempted genocide of the Indigenous people of this land.”10

While I could never understand, as an English man, Australia’s treatment of their First Peoples when I first arrived, at the time I had not educated myself or immersed myself in the history of Australia to gain its full import. Now I have. And so have other people.

Importantly, national events happened in the 1990s that led up to the Walk for Reconciliation across Sydney Harbour Bridge on 28 May, 2000 (see photograph below) in which about 250,000 people walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to show their support for reconciliation between Australia’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples: in 1991 the Australian Parliament passed an Act which created the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation; in the 1992 Mabo decision the High Court of Australia ruled that Australia was not terra nullius (land belonging to nobody) when it was claimed by Britain in 1770. This led to the Native Title Act 1993, which made it possible for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to claim ownership of their traditional lands; and the Bringing Them Home report, published in 1997, showed that thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait children had been taken away from their families by governments around Australia. These children have become known as the Stolen Generations. The report said that all Australian governments should apologise to Indigenous people, especially the Stolen Generations.11 So many people participated in the walk that the event took nearly six hours. It was the largest political demonstration ever held in Australia. Finally, eight years after the walk Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a national apology to Australia’s Indigenous people. “On 13 February 2008, the Parliament of Australia issued a formal apology to Indigenous Australians for forced removals of Australian Indigenous children (often referred to as the Stolen Generations) from their families by Australian federal and state government agencies.”12

Better late than never…

 

Racism

By the time John Faviell started taking photographs for his album a twentieth-century, Euro- and U.S.-centric middle class had been dazzled by the “Kodakification” of photography. Small portable cameras with roll film and a faster film speed enabled “amateur” photographers,13 people who “simply wanted pictures as mementos of their daily lives but were hardly interested in learning how to do the rest”14 – that is, developing, printing and toning their own photographs – to document their existence and then send the film away to be developed and printed. George Eastman’s slogan for Kodak, “You Press the Button, We Do the Rest,” revolutionised the photography business in the United States and in the world, allowing the great mass of the general public to take photographs and assemble family albums (for example). In these vernacular photographs – “those countless ordinary and utilitarian pictures made for souvenir postcards, government archives, police case files, pin-up posters, networking Web sites, and the pages of magazines, newspapers, or family albums”15 – the focus is on the social contexts in which the photos were originally made and how they document an aspect of social or photo history. These images, including those by John Faviell, ask us to consider “the ways in which photographs function as significant bearers of complex meaning, rather than mere descriptions or reflections of the world, whether they grace the walls of a museum, the pages of a magazine, the files in a cabinet, or a living room mantel.”16 Commenting on photo postcards but equally applicable to vernacular photographs, Leonard A. Lauder observes that, “The new flexibility and mobility of this medium created citizen photographers who captured life on the ground around them… [and] we learn from them both the grand historical narrative and the smaller events that made up the daily lives of those who participated in that history.”17

Even as the freedom to photograph anywhere, anytime led to the ability of humans with access to a camera and the money to develop and pay for film and prints to document their lives – an intimate portrait of a life in the making, constructed by people for themselves – it also, paradoxically, led to the Kodification, codification, of everyday life… into the haves and the have nots, into people who were portrayed existing at the upper echelons of society, to those that existed as policemen, factory workers, or working on construction sites (for example), or those that existed at the margins of society, the disenfranchised, abused and neglected “other”, subject to the gaze of the photographer and the mechanical observation of the camera.

Even as he welcomes his own ambition and sense of self worth there is a sense of conservatism and privilege in the depiction of his social position in Australian society. In his private photographic album, John Faviell places himself at the centre of the story, at the centre of history, as though he is constructing not only his own place in the history of Australia but the history of Australia itself. His photographs portray his life embedded within the “golden splendour” of the Australian landscape even as the photographs reinforce in private the cultural and photographic norms circulating in public in 1920s-1930s Australia,18 its heteropatriarchy, settler coloniality and the racism prevalent in early 20th century Australia. Through the many titled photographs Faviell projects the inherent racism towards Aboriginal people that was present at that time in white society, the notion of white superiority that was implicit in the White Australia Policy.19 In this regard he would not have seen himself as racist (I have no idea whether he was racist or not) for he was merely reflecting the social attitudes of the day, reflecting a collective racism that pervaded all aspects of white Australian society officially sanctioned through the White Australia Policy, an attitude which continues to haunt Australia’s past, present and future.

While now totally offensive Faviell would have thought nothing of captioning his photographs with titles such as Grave in Nigger’s Cemetery, Shark’s Bay, 1923; A Nor’ West Gin and Big Nig, Shark’s Bay, 1923; and Nellie and her litter, 1923, where after colonisation “gin” became a racist, derogatory term for an Aboriginal woman quickly used against female Aborigines to express a mix of lust and racial contempt, becoming a “dehumanising weapon essential to the violence of occupation,” which led to the systematic rape, abduction and murder of Aboriginal girls and women. He would have thought nothing of titling his photograph Nellie and her litter, the text loaded with casual racism which compares Indigenous Australians to dogs. But what is important to note here is how individuals make use of images in shaping their identities, and how Faviell’s images informed the construction of his own identity and the embodying of his own power.

Photographs tend to be indispensable in the construction of identity because of the phenomenal aspect of photography – its status as a spatio-temporal capture – where memory traces and their capture become a visible reality, and where contexts (point of view) and power can be replayed over and over again, made present in absence.20 Faviell’s album of photographs and the use of the art of memory (Latin: ars memoriae: a number of loosely associated mnemonic principles and techniques used to organise memory impressions) would have allowed him to organise his memory impressions and improve the recall of them. Faviell could have used a set of associative values given for images in memory texts (Nigger, gin) as a starting point to initiate a chain of recollection. “Techniques commonly employed in the art [of memory] include the association of emotionally striking memory images within visualized locations, the chaining or association of groups of images, the association of images with schematic graphics or notae (“signs, markings, figures” in Latin), and the association of text with images.”21

Here we must acknowledge that human beings, including Faviell, are not just actors in history, they are enablers. Enablers of racism whose slippery tentacles still enslave this country Australia down to its very roots – at the footy, on social media, in government, on the land – even today. As the artist Octora observes, “A photograph is not merely evidence of the past or a slice of a passing moment, it is performative and still performs to distort actual reality today.”22 But changing how photographs perform realities and memories is not easy, for there are other forces at play to which photographs only reinforce social prejudices: “There is a racism that lurks within the Australian consciousness and is fuelled by an uneasy conscience caused by our treatment of Aborigines in the past and out fear from the future.”23

What we must do is confront this fear and propose a narrative that moves beyond those reflected in our existing histories… for memory is not just a personal remembering (the product and property of individual minds) but a collective remembering, “concerned with remembering and forgetting as socially constituted activities… Individual memories cannot be understood as ‘internal mental processes’ which occur independently of the interpretive and communicative practices which characterise a particular society or culture. Individuals ‘read’, account for and negotiate their memories within the pragmatics of social life.”24 As would John Faviell have done.

We must remember that historical memories help form the social and political identities of groups of people and that in Australia there is a collective amnesia surrounding the White Australia policy, a social amnesia where there is a collective forgetting by a group, or nation, of people about the effects of a certain policy – because they are ignorant of it, because they don’t care, because they agree with the policy, or because they benefit from the policy – and they forget about it. Things remain the same, the status quo is maintained, and mythologies of a white nation remain impervious to change. There is also a collective remembering that this is the policy of the government, that it keeps the country homogenous, and wards of the invasion of non-desirables. People of colour and “others”.

So how can looking at historic photographs, such as those in John Faviell’s photographic album, affect change? According to Mika Elo,

“Photographs are nomadic and relational images. They are scalable and can be inscribed in many kinds of material supports, which means that they carry in themselves references to something beyond their own instantiations. Something similar applies to power. Power can be restrictive or productive, personalized or impersonal, but it is always relational. With regard to visual representation, power is neither entirely inherent to specific images nor entirely reducible to the context. Rather, we might consider it a parergonal [a subordinate activity or work: work undertaken in addition to one’s main employment] phenomenon. As we all know, power relations can effectively be built up and worked against with photographic images. This means that in each individual case the borders between information, propaganda and advertising are necessarily indistinct – even if the face offered by the photograph as an image is distinct. The distinctness of an image is always dissimilarity [its groundlessness of meaning in a ‘network’ of significations]. The way in which a photograph cuts itself off from everything else introduces a mute interval that fosters many kinds of speech, whether banal, creative, humiliating or empowering. In any case, the photographic cut necessarily introduces basic conditions for power relations: it introduces a point of view into relational structures. Its effects can be both imaginary and symbolic. Depending on the point of view, the cut can be transformative or conservative, emancipatory or suppressive, subversive or destructive.”25

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In this sense images, rather than being a representation of a palpable materiality at a particular point in time and with a particular interpretation, never cease to present their multiple aspects open to reinterpretation. Collectively and individually photographs can seize us, can hold us in their thrall. But we are not passive observers that approach the present which is absent, a particular floating “reality” that is embedded in a photograph, but an active participant in the encounter with performance and gesture… in the eyes of the observer. As Žarko Paić notes of the observer, “His role has changed significantly. It is no longer a Kantian passive subject to the reflection of a beautiful, nor a Nietzschean active producer who disturbs indifferent senses. The observer does not look at what’s happening in a picture like an idle screen. Violence caused by the rise of the chaotic reality of the twentieth century, wars and revolutions, by the technical acceleration of the cinematic energy of one’s life, becomes the “energy” and “intensity” of the image. The image is always an image of something. It is therefore mimetic in its aspiration to turn life into the objectivity of reality. However, the representation of something does not mean that it is only an empty intentional act of observing objects.”26 As Mika Elo states, “… power is necessarily inscribed in technologies, practices and discourses of photography in many ways. Photographic powers have their past, presence and future. They have their visible and invisible forms.”27

And so this is what we can collectively and individually undertake. We can look at John Faviell’s private photographs and confront the racist societal violence28 against Aboriginal people depicted through image and text, and we can disrupt their historicity, in public, in the here and now. We can acknowledge past determinations of these photographs and delimit that determination and identification in a network of significations… so that we celebrate the life of the disenfranchised because they are not to be seen as such. These are human beings living their life and are as equally as valuable as anybody else, and we can acknowledge this because we approach the photograph to embrace the … the “energy” and “intensity” of the image. And the “presence” and spirit of the people not as subject but as the thing itself.29

The observer actively engages with the photograph to bring these human beings to life in their imagination,30 to inhabit a reality that can in the present be changed. Every look performs this operation because only through this recon/figuration, this transformation, this metamorphosis, can we assess the past with fresh eyes and not be complicit in the racism and socially constituted activities of the past which still affect us today. Only by bringing the visible and invisible forms of racism into the open in the present can we open up new possibilities for the future.

As the photographer Frederick Sommer sagely opines,

The world is a reality,
not because of the way it is,
but because
of the possibilities it presents.

 

Dr Marcus Bunyan
January 2023

Word count: 4,671

See Part 1 of the posting

 

 

Footnotes

1/ “Great Depression in Australia,” on the Wikipedia website [Online] Cited 30/08/2021

2/ Lisa Matthews (director). “Shifting Allegiances,” from Australia in Colour Season One, Episode Two. TV Mini Series. Strange Than Fiction Films, 2019

3/ Ibid.,

4/ Anonymous. “The 1938 Day of Mourning,” on the AIATSIS website Nd [Online] Cited 21/02/2022

5/ Isabella Higgins and Sarah Collard. “Captain James Cook’s landing and the Indigenous first words contested by Aboriginal leaders,” on the ABC News website Wed 29 Apr 2020 quoted in Jens Korff. “Australia Day – Invasion Day,” on the Creative Spirits website 26 July 2021 [Online] Cited 03/05/2022

6/ Anita Heiss. “Significant Aboriginal Events in Sydney,” on the Barani website Nd [Online] Cited 22/07/2021.

7/ Ibid.,

8/ Pose, Melanie. “Indigenous Protest, Australian Bicentenary, 1988,” on the Museums Victoria Collections website 2009 [Online] Cited 03/05/2022 Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

9/ Ibid.,

10/ Natalie Cromb. “Analysis: The ’88 protests,” on the SBS NTIV website 29 January, 2018 [Online] Cited 03/05/2022. No longer available online

11/ Anonymous. “Walk for reconciliation,” on the National Museum of Australia website 12 May 2021 [Online] Cited 03/05/2022

12/ “Apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples,” on the Wikipedia website [Online] Cited 03/05/2022

13/ “Vernacular photography is also to be distinguished from amateur photography. While vernacular photography is generally situated outside received art categories (though where the lines are drawn may vary), “amateur photography” contrasts with “professional photography”: “[A]mateur [photography] simply means that you make your living doing something else”.”
Langford, Michael and Bilissi, Efthimia. Langford’s Advanced Photography. Oxford, UK and Burlington, MA: Focal Press. 2011, p. 1 quoted in Anonymous. “Vernacular photography,” on the Wikipedia website Nd [Online] Cited 06/05/2022

14/ Anonymous. “You Press the Button, We Do the Rest,” on the Wikipedia website Nd [Online] Cited 06/05/2022

15/ Anonymous. “In the Vernacular,” on the Art Institute of Chicago website, 2010 [Online] Cited 06/05/2022

16/ Ibid.,

17/ Leonard A. Lauder quoted in the press release for Real Photo Postcards: Pictures from a Changing Nation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 17th March – 25th July, 2022 Nd [Online] Cited 06/05/2022

18/ Kris Belden-Adams. “CFP – ‘These Are Our Stories’: Global Expressions of “Other” Histories, Narratives, and Identities in Photographic Albums,” on the Humanities and Social Science Online website January 23, 2020 [Online] Cited 03/05/2022

19/ See Anonymous. “White Australia Policy,” on the Wikipedia website Nd [Online] Cited 25/12/2022; Anonymous. “White Australia Policy,” on the National Museum of Australia website Nd [Online] Cited 25/12/2022; and Anonymous. “The Immigration Restriction Act 1901,” on the National Archives of Australia website Nd [Online] Cited 25/12/2022

20/ Mika Elo. “Introduction: Photography Research Exposed to the Parergonal Phenomenon of “Photographic Powers”,” in Elo, Mika and Karo, Marko (eds.,). Photographic Powers – Helsinki Photomedia 2014. Aalto University publication series, 2015, pp. 7-8.

21/ Anonymous. “Art of Memory,” on the Wikipedia website Nd [Online] Cited 25/12/2022

22/ The artist Octora quoted in James McArdle. “16 July: Writing,” on the On This Date In Photography website 16/07/2021 [Online] Cited 22/07/2021.

23/ The Right Reverend George Hearn quoted in “Birthday hype ‘blurs’ history,” in The Canberra Times Sun 1 May 1988 on the Trove website [Online] Cited 22/07/2021.

24/ David Middleton and Derek Edwards (eds.,). Collective Remembering. Sage Publications, 1990

25/ Mika Elo, Op cit., pp. 7-8

26/ Žarko Paić. “The Dark Core Of Mimesis: Art, Body And Image In The Thought Of Jean-Luc Nancy,” on the TVRDA website August 20, 2022 [Online] Cited 25/12/2022

27/ Mika Elo, Op cit., pp. 7-8

28/ “Racist violence is exemplary. It is the violence that knocks someone in the face, simply because – as the stupid twat might say – it “doesn’t like the look” on his face. The face is denied truth. The truth meanwhile lies in a figure that deduces itself to the blow that it strikes. Here, truth is true because it is violent, and it is true in its violence: it is a destructive truth in the sense in which destruction verifies and makes true.”
Jean-Luc Nancy. The Ground of the Image. Translated by Jeff Fort. Fordham University Press, 2005, p. 17.

29/ Ibid., p. 21.

30/ “The image not only exceeds the form, the aspect, the calm surface of representation, but in order to do so item just draw upon a ground – or a groundlessness – of excessive power. The image must be imagined; that is to say, it must extract from its absence the unity of force that the thing merely at hand does not present. Imagination is not the faculty of representing something in its absence; it is the force that draws the form of presentation out of absence: that is to say, the force of “self-presenting.””
Jean-Luc Nancy. The Ground of the Image. Translated by Jeff Fort. Fordham University Press, 2005, p. 21.

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Many thankx to the State Library of New South Wales for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Grateful thankx to Douglas Stewart Fine Books for their research help with this photo album. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Shark’s Bay,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Locations

  • Blue Mountains, NSW (1922)
  • Leura Falls, NSW (1922)
  • Weeping Rock, Wentworth Falls, NSW (1922)
  • Tarana Picnic Races, NSW (1922)
  • Doona, Breeza, NSW (1922)
  • Avoca, NSW (1922)
  • Newcastle Races, NSW (1923)
  • Belmont / Belmont Regatta, NSW (1923)
  • Hawkesbury, NSW (1923)
  • Frenches Forest, NSW (1923)
  • “Foxlow” Station, Bungedore, NSW (1923)
  • Sydney, NSW (Customs House, National Art Gallery, Mitchell Library, Darlinghurst Courthouse) (1923)
  • Muswellbrook Picnic Races, NSW (1923)
  • Maitland / Maitland Cup Meeting, NSW (1923)
  • Breeza, NSW (1923)
  • Wiseman’s Ferry, NSW (1923)
  • Moss Vale / Sutton Forest Church, NSW (1923)
  • Frensham, NSW (1923)
  • La Perouse, NSW (Historical Society Excursion) (1923)
  • Old Customs Watch Tower, La Perouse (1923)
  • The Old Illawarra Road, NSW (1923)
  • Yarcowie, SA (1923)
  • Trans-Australian Railway (Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie) (1923)
  • Karonie, WA (1923)
  • Kalgoorlie, WA (1923)
  • Boulder City, WA (1923)
  • Fremantle, WA (1923)
  • Geraldton, WA (1923)
  • Shark’s Bay, WA (1923)
  • Henry Freycinet Estuary, WA (1923)
  • Tamala Station, WA (1923)
  • Perth, WA (1923)
  • Adelaide, SA (Torrens River) (1923)
  • “Redbank,” Scone, NSW (1924)
  • Muswellbrook Picnic Races, NSW (1924)
  • “Craigieburn,” Bowral, NSW (1924)
  • The Dudley Cup at Kensington, NSW (1924)
  • Camden Grammar School, NSW (1924)
  • Liverpool Church, NSW (1924)
  • Landsdowne Bridge, NSW (1924)
  • Jenolan Caves, NSW (1924)
  • Avon Dam, NSW (1924)
  • Herald Office, Pitt Street, NSW (1924)
  • Camping, Cronulla, NSW (1925)
  • Roseville, NSW (1926)
  • Whale Beach, NSW (1927)
  • Visit of the Duke and Duchess of York, Macquarie Street, NSW (1927)
  • 20, Yarranabbe Rd., Darling Point, NSW (1926)
  • Canberra, ACT (1927)
  • Jenolan Caves, NSW (Lady Dorothy Hope-Morley) (1927)
  • Ellen’s Isle, Loch Katrine, Scotland (1925)
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge, NSW (1931-32)
  • “Springfield,” Byng, Near Orange, NSW (1932)
  • Lucknow, near Orange, NSW (1933)
  • Hawkesbury, NSW (1933)
  • Bathurst, NSW (1933)
  • “Millambri, ” Canowindra, NSW (1933)
  • Melbourne, VIC (1933)

 

Topics

  • Men
  • Pastoralism and grazing
  • Horses / country horse racing
  • Sheep and shearing
  • Cows
  • Mill / logging
  • Pine plantation
  • Bush
  • Bores and dams
  • Cathedral / churches
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Cars (Ford, Pan-American, Essex, Oldsmobile, early Hupmobile, Chrysler 70)
  • Buses
  • Bank, post office
  • Pastoral Play
  • Monuments
  • Rock carvings
  • Houses
  • Cemetery / tombstones
  • John Dunn, executed 1866
  • South Australian Railways / locomotives
  • S.A. constable and Adelaide cop
  • Indigenous Australians (Aboriginal types, along the Trans-Australian Railway)
  • Australian Desert Blacks
  • Gold mine / gold panning
  • Mining (Boulder and Perseverance Mines)
  • Convict gaol
  • Oldest inhabitant (Henry Desmond)
  • Hotels
  • Beach and sea, surf girls
  • Mother of pearl
  • Dates
  • Afghan / camels
  • Yachting, sailing / boats
  • Guano
  • Fred Adams, Boss-Pearler
  • Stations and station hands
  • Rowing
  • Dredging
  • Polo
  • Rugby
  • Caves
  • Guns
  • Nobility and royalty
  • Camping, picnics
  • Tennis
  • House building / old houses
  • Parliament House
  • Prime Ministers residence
  • Bridges and bridge building
  • Federal and state governors
  • The world’s first auto-gyro plane (1909-1912)
  • The Southern Cross
  • Pioneers
  • Mounted police
  • First house in Byng
  • Rabbiting
  • Glamour
  • Social status / socialite
  • Family
  • Women and children
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge opening
  • Carillon (bells)
  • Myers and Bourke Street, Melbourne

 

 

"An Afghan's turnout," 1923 John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“An Afghan’s turnout,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Shark's Bay, Lloyd's Camels (Bred on Dirk Hartog Island)," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Shark’s Bay, Lloyd’s Camels (Bred on Dirk Hartog Island),” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"A five-days cruise on the Cutter "Shark"," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“A five-days cruise on the Cutter “Shark”,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Amongst the Islands of Henri Freycinet Estuary," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Amongst the Islands of Henri Freycinet Estuary,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Henri Freycinet Harbour, also known as Freycinet Estuary, is one of the inner gulfs of Shark Bay, Western Australia, a World Heritage Site that lies to the west of the Peron Peninsula. It has a significantly larger number of islands than Hamelin Pool, and has a number of smaller peninsulas known as “prongs” on its northern area. It has also been identified as a critical dugong habitat area. It is situated within the Shark Bay Marine Park.

 

"Fred Adams, Boss-Pearler, Shark's Bay, W.A.," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Fred Adams, Boss-Pearler, Shark’s Bay, W.A.,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Pearling in Western Australia was an important part of the European colonisation of the North West. Although it was never considered a permanent part of the state economy, pearling, with its immediate returns, allowed pastoralists to establish stations and contributed to the foundation of several towns. Some of these towns evolved into centres for agriculture and tourism and some developed their port facilities. Others did not outlive the availability of and market for pearlshell. Uniquely, Shark Bay not only survived the demise of the industry, but developed into the state’s commercial fishing centre. The pearling boats were simply refitted to become fishing boats (OH 2266/8) and the Bay life continued…

Wilyah Miah. An Archaeological Study of the History of the Shark Bay Pearling Industry 1850-1930. University of Western Australia, 1999, p. 7.

 

""Natty" Black & Adams," in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“”Natty” Black & Adams,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Sharks Bay," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Sharks Bay,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"J.F." 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“J.F.” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Boss-pearler Henfrey, and his "missus", opening shell," 1923in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Boss-pearler Henfrey, and his “missus”, opening shell,” 1923in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

The first labour employed in the industry was that of the local Aboriginal people. Little is known of the pre-European Aboriginal people of the Bay. It is not clear whether it was the territory of the Nanda or the Mulgana people (Bowdler 1992:5) although current consensus among the people of Shark Bay is that they are Mulgana (Bowdler pers. comm. 1999). They were easily accessible and there were no expectations that they should be paid the wages of other labourers. Willingness on the part of the Aboriginal people to participate in the industry was often an issue irrelevant to the interests of the pearlers. Goods such as alcohol may have been an inducement, but, according to Anderson (1978) in her study of the North West industry, coercion was necessary and practices such as blackbirding were employed to acquire labour. The introduction of pastoralism, by its appropriation of land, ensured the destruction of the traditional Aboriginal economy and forced them to provide for the market the only commodity available to them, their labour (Hartwig 1975:32).

Wilyah Miah. An Archaeological Study of the History of the Shark Bay Pearling Industry 1850-1930. University of Western Australia, 1999, p. 18.

 

"Tamala Station, Shark's Bay, W.A.," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Tamala Station, Shark’s Bay, W.A.,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

This pastoral station is in the southern part of Shark Bay World Heritage Area on limestone-dominated landscapes. The main attraction of Tamala Station is the low lying coastline and waters of Henri Freycinet Harbour. Many visitors only cross this property on their way to Steep Point but some spend time here camping, fishing and exploring the prongs and peninsulas. Tamala Station allows access to the general public but you must first contact the station managers for bookings.

Text from the Shark Bay World Heritage website

 

"Tamala Station Hands," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Tamala Station Hands,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Well Ziffed Stockman," in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Well Ziffed Stockman,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Ziff, Australian for beard. The Oxford English Dictionary says this slang term originated around 1919, but otherwise the origin is unknown. To be ziffed means to be bearded.

 

"Untitled," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Nellie and her litter," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Nellie and her litter,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Western Australia," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Western Australia,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Perth," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Perth,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Returning from the West," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Returning from the West,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Redbank", Scone, N.S.W.," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Redbank”, Scone, N.S.W.,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

W.T. Badgery, horsebreeder, at Scone, Hunter Valley (Information from Douglas Stewart Fine Books)

Scone /ˈskoʊn/ is a town in the Upper Hunter Shire in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. It is on the New England Highway north of Muswellbrook about 270 kilometres north of Sydney, and is part of the New England (federal) and New England (state) electorates. Scone is in a farming area and is also noted for breeding Thoroughbred racehorses. It is known as the ‘Horse capital of Australia’.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

"Muswellbrook Picnic Races," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Muswellbrook Picnic Races,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Polo, Scone v Muswellbrook," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Polo, Scone v Muswellbrook,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Craigieburn", Bowral, N.S.W.," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Craigieburn”, Bowral, N.S.W.,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Craigieburn, Bowral is a house of historical significance as it was built in about 1885. It was originally the mountain retreat for a wealthy Sydney merchant and was owned by him for over twenty years. It was then the home of several other prominent people until about 1918 when it was converted into a hotel. Today it still provides hotel accommodation and is a venue for special events particularly weddings and conferences.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

"Bryden Brown and Jack Whitehouse," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Bryden Brown and Jack Whitehouse,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"The Dudley Cup at Kensington," 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“The Dudley Cup at Kensington,” 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"C.G.S Football, School v Old Boys," 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“C.G.S Football, School v Old Boys,” 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Camden Grammar School

“At the close of the last century the school was moved to the present situation at Studley Park, Narellan, formerly the residence of A. Payne Esq., a magnificent residence standing on the brow of a hill over looking the Nepean Valley and surrounded by 200 acres of rich country.” (Trove) The school was at Studley Park House 1902-1933.

 

"Half-time," 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Half-time,” 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Untitled," 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled,” 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Trip to Jenolan Caves," October, 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Trip to Jenolan Caves,” October, 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Audrey Pickburn

Audrey Pickburn was a Sydney socialite. Her mother who was obviously playing chaperone on this trip to Jenolan Caves (Information from Douglas Stewart Fine Books) (Information from Douglas Stewart Fine Books)

Audrey Pickburn and John Faviell were married on Tuesday 24 February 1925.

 

AT ST. JAMES’

LAST NIGHT’S WEDDING

FAVIELL – PICKBURN

ST. JAMES Church, Kings Street was crowded last night for the wedding or Miss Audrey Pickburn, only child of the late Judge Pickburn, and Mrs. Pickburn of Springfield, Darllnghurst and Mr John Favlell, of “Collinroobie”. The church was decorated by girl friends of the bride and the ceremony was performed by Rev. T. L—-.

A lovely bridal gown of gleaming white was hand embroidered with pearls and diamente, and made with a long train, which was encrusted with pearls and lined with shell pink georgette. Silver thread embroideries also appeared on the train, which was finished with true-lovers knots. A plain tulle veil, held with a coronet of orange blossom, and a bouquet of orchids completed the ensemble.

Miss Gretel Bullmore was chief bridesmaid wearing a gown of golden lame, flared at the hem. Miss Eileen Wiley and Miss Joyce Russell were also In attendance. Their frocks of lame were made —– effect. All three wore golden crin. hats, trimmed with —- and floating blue scarves, with gold thread embroideries, and they carried bouquets of orchids.

Mr. Claude Pain was in attendance as best man. Mr. Guy Little and Mr Keith Hardie acted as groomsmen. The reception was held at the Queen’s Club where the bride & mother received a big number of guests.

The Labor Daily, Tuesday, 24 February 1925, Page 7 on the Trove website [Online] Cited 05/11/2019

(The Queen’s Club, 137 Elizabeth Street, Sydney established in 1912, is a private Club. The Club was founded for social purposes for country and city women.)

 

PICKBURN – FAVIELL

The biggest social event of the month was the wedding on Tuesday night of Miss Mclanie Audrey Pickburn, only daughter of the late Judge Pickburn and Mrs. Pickburn, of ‘Springfield,’ Darlinghurst, to Mr. Jack “Riverstone” Faviell, of Sydney, son of the late Mr. A. Faviell, Colinroobie, Narandera, and Mrs. Faviell, Kiribilli, which was celebrated at St. James’s Church, King-street, Sydney, by the Rev. E. C. Lucas, of St. John’s, Darlinghurst. The church was beautifully decorated in white and gold.

Narandera Argus and Riverina Advertiser, Friday, 27 February 1925, Page 6 on the Trove website [Online] Cited 05/11/2019

 

Jenolan Caves

The Jenolan Caves (Tharawal: Binoomea, Bindo, Binda) are limestone caves located within the Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve in the Central Tablelands region, west of the Blue Mountains, in Jenolan, Oberon Council, New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The caves and 3,083-hectare (7,620-acre) reserve are situated approximately 175 kilometres (109 mi) west of Sydney, 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Oberon and 30 kilometres (19 mi) west of Katoomba.

The caves are the most visited of several similar groups in the limestone caves of the country, and the most ancient discovered open caves in the world.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

"Caves Service Car," 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Caves Service Car,” 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"My Pan American," 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“My Pan American,” 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Audrey Pickburn," 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Audrey Pickburn,” 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Jenolan Caves," October, 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Jenolan Caves,” October, 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Audrey," 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Audrey,” 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Untitled," in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Admiral Sir Dudley Rawson Stratford de Chair, KCB, KCMG, MVO (30 August 1864 – 17 August 1958) was a senior Royal Navy officer and later Governor of New South Wales. …

 

Governor of New South Wales

De Chair had been interested in serving in a viceregal role as early as 1922, when he put his name forward to the Colonial Office for the position of Governor of South Australia. This position however, went to Sir Tom Bridges instead and the First Lord of the Admiralty, Leo Amery, put de Chair’s name forward for the Governor of New South Wales. This position, which had been vacant since the death of Sir Walter Davidson in September 1923, was the same one his uncle, Sir Harry Rawson, had held twenty years earlier, and to which he was appointed on 8 November 1923.

Arriving in Sydney on 28 February 1924, de Chair became governor in relatively calm political times and was warmly received in the city with great fanfare. On de Chair’s appointment, the President of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Aubrey Halloran, compared Admiral de Chair to the first Governor, Captain Arthur Phillip: “Our new Governor’s reputation as an intrepid sailor and ruler of men evokes from us a hearty welcome and inspires us to place in him the same confidence that [Arthur] Phillip received from his gallant band of fellow-sailors and the English statesmen who sent him.”

The political makeup of the state changed not long after his arrival however, when the conservative Nationalist/Progressive coalition government of Sir George Fuller, whom de Chair had got on well with, was defeated at the May 1925 state election by the Labor Party under Jack Lang. De Chair noted to himself that Lang and his party’s position comprised “radical and far-reaching legislation, which had not been foreshadowed in their election speeches”. He also later wrote that Lang’s “lack of scruple gave me a great and unpleasant surprise”.

With the Labor Government only holding a single seat majority in the Legislative Assembly and only a handful of members in the upper Legislative Council, one of Lang’s main targets was electoral reform. The Legislative Council, comprising members appointed by the Governor for life terms, had long been seen by Lang and the Labor Party as an outdated bastion of conservative privilege holding back their reform agenda. Although previous Labor premiers had managed to work with the status quo, such as requesting appointments from the Governor sufficient to pass certain bills, Lang’s more radical political agenda required more drastic action to ensure its passage. Consequently, Lang and his government sought to abolish the council, along the same lines that their Queensland Labor colleagues had done in 1922 to their Legislative Council, by requesting from de Chair enough appointments to establish a Labor majority in the council that would then vote for abolition.

While Lang’s attempts ultimately failed, de Chair failed to gain the support of an indifferent Dominions Office. With Lang’s departure in 1927, the Nationalist Government of Thomas Bavin invited him in 1929 to stay on as Governor for a further term. De Chair agreed only to a year’s extension and retired on 8 April 1930.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

"Old Herald Office - Pitt St.,' 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Old Herald Office – Pitt St.,’ 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Aboard the Orvieto," September, 1925 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Aboard the Orvieto,” September, 1925 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Curtis (Captain Arthur Curtis)," 1925 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Curtis (Captain Arthur Curtis),” 1925 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Roseville," 1926 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Roseville,” 1926 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Picnics - Whale Beach / Visit of the Duke & Duchess of York," 1927 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Picnics – Whale Beach / Visit of the Duke & Duchess of York,” 1927 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Visit of the Duke & Duchess of York," 1927 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Visit of the Duke & Duchess of York,” 1927 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"A house is nearly built - 20 Yarranabbe Road, Darling Point," 1926 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“A house is nearly built – 20 Yarranabbe Road, Darling Point,” 1926 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

"Buying the land," 1926 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Buying the land,” 1926 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Three harbour views taken from upstairs," 1926 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Three harbour views taken from upstairs,” 1926 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Harbour view," 1926 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Harbour view,” 1926 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Audrey Pickburn and Jack Faviell divorced in October 1930. Audrey re-married in 1934 and so did Jack (Information from Douglas Stewart Fine Books)

 

IN DIVORCE

(Before Mr. Justice Pike)

FAVIELL v FAVIELL

Jack Riverstone Faviell sued for divorce from Melanie Audrey Faviell (formerly Pickburn) on the ground of non compliance with a decree for restitution of conjugal rights. The parties were married at Sydney in February, 1925, according to the rites of the Church of England. A decree nisi, returnable in six months, was granted. Mr. Toose (instructed by Messrs. Allen, Allen, and Hemsley) appeared for the petitioner.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday, 11 October 1930. Page 8 on the Trove website [Online] Cited 05/11/2019

 

The party below is for Jack with his second wife whom he married in 1934; Miss Rosenthal from Melbourne (Information from Douglas Stewart Fine Books)

 

“Party at Darling Point”

MRS. JOHN FAVIELL, looking very cool in a pink and grey floral sheer frock and shady natural straw hat, was hurrying about town in yesterday’s heat to complete arrangements for the Christmas party and dance at her home, 20 Yarranabbe Road, Darling Point, on Friday.

The party will be held from Ave till ten p.m., and the proceeds will be in aid of the Blind Institution. A Christmas tree will be among the attractions.

The Daily Telegraph, Wednesday, 15 December 1937. Page 12 on the Trove website [Online] Cited 05/11/2019

 

"Trip to Canberra," 5/6 November, 1927 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Trip to Canberra,” 5/6 November, 1927 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Prime Minister's Residence," 1927 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Prime Minister’s Residence,” 1927 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Trip to Canberra," 5/6 November, 1927 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Trip to Canberra,” 5/6 November, 1927 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

The prophetic tombstone of Sarah, George and Betsy Webb. The inscription is prophetic “For here we have no continuing city but seek one to come” St John’s Churchyard, Constitution Avenue, Reid.

 

"Taken by Lady Dorothy Hope-Morley, Jenolan Caves Trip,' 10/12th July, 1927 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Taken by Lady Dorothy Hope-Morley, Jenolan Caves Trip,’ 10/12th July, 1927 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Dorothy Edith Isabel Hope-Morley (Hobart-Hampden)
Birthdate: April 11, 1891
Death: December 15, 1972
Daughter of Sidney, 7th Earl of Buckinghamshire, OBE and Georgiana Wilhelmina, Countess of Buckinghamshire
Wife of Hon. Claude Hope-Morley
Mother of Gordon Hope Hope-Morley, 3rd Baron Hollenden and Hon Ann Rosemary Hope Newman
Sister of John Hobart-Hampden-Mercer-Henderson, 8th Earl of Buckinghamshire and Lady Sidney Mary Catherine Anne Hobart-Hampden

 

"Taken by Lady Dorothy Hope-Morley, Jenolan Caves Trip,' 10/12th July, 1927 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Taken by Lady Dorothy Hope-Morley, Jenolan Caves Trip,’ 10/12th July, 1927 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Taken by Lady Dorothy Hope-Morley, Jenolan Caves Trip,' 10/12th July, 1927 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Taken by Lady Dorothy Hope-Morley, Jenolan Caves Trip,’ 10/12th July, 1927 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Ellen's Isle, Loch Katrine, Scotland (Audrey & me in boat)," 1925 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Ellen’s Isle, Loch Katrine, Scotland (Audrey & me in boat),” 1925 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

This photograph, the only one from overseas (Scotland), must be from Audrey and Jack’s honeymoon (1925). It is interesting that there are no other photographs from either the wedding or the honeymoon in the album. Of course, the marriage photographs could have been housed in a purpose built wedding album, but the haphazard nature of the construction of this album, with the photographs out of date order, and this the only one from the honeymoon, make me think that this album was assembled in the 1930s. Marcus

 

"Untitled," c. 1927-30 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled,” c. 1927-30 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Untitled," c. 1927-30 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled,” c. 1927-30 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew," 1929-1930 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew,” 1929-1930 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Sydney Harbour Bridge construction

Arch construction itself began on 26 October 1928. The southern end of the bridge was worked on ahead of the northern end, to detect any errors and to help with alignment. The cranes would “creep” along the arches as they were constructed, eventually meeting up in the middle. In less than two years, on Tuesday, 19 August 1930, the two halves of the arch touched for the first time. Workers riveted both top and bottom sections of the arch together, and the arch became self-supporting, allowing the support cables to be removed. On 20 August 1930 the joining of the arches was celebrated by flying the flags of Australia and the United Kingdom from the jibs of the creeper cranes.

Text from the Wikipedia website [Online] Cited 31/10/2019

 

"Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew," 1929-1930 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew,” 1929-1930 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew," 1929-1930 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew,” 1929-1930 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew," 1929-1930 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew,” 1929-1930 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew," 1929-1930 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew,” 1929-1930 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Bridge Opening, 20th March, 1932," in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Bridge Opening, 20th March, 1932,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Showing anchor cables," March, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Showing anchor cables,” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Federal and State Govenors arriving,” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Pageantry at Official Opening of Harbour Bridge - 20th March, 1932," in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Pageantry at Official Opening of Harbour Bridge – 20th March, 1932,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Pageantry at Official Opening of Harbour Bridge - 20th March, 1932," in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Pageantry at Official Opening of Harbour Bridge – 20th March, 1932,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Mounted Police," March, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Mounted Police,” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Aborigines," March, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Aborigines,” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Old King Street Bus," March, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Old King Street Bus,” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"An early Hupmobile car," March, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“An early Hupmobile car,” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

Hupmobile was an automobile built from 1909 through 1939 by the Hupp Motor Car Company.

 

"First Auto-Gyro (The World's First Auto-Gyro Plane, 1909-12)," March, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“First Auto-Gyro (The World’s First Auto-Gyro Plane, 1909-12),” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Pageantry at Official Opening of Harbour Bridge - 20th March, 1932," in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Pageantry at Official Opening of Harbour Bridge – 20th March, 1932,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Surf girls drawing Float,” from the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Surf girls drawing Float,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"The Southern Cross," March, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“The Southern Cross,” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Pioneers Float," March, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Pioneers Float,” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

Australian National Travel Association Smith and Julius Studios (Sydney, N.S.W.) (printer) 'Australia's 150th Anniversary Sydney 1938: Pageantry and carnival January 26th - April 25th' Sydney: The Association, 1938

 

Australian National Travel Association
Smith and Julius Studios (Sydney, N.S.W.) (printer)
Australia’s 150th Anniversary Sydney 1938: Pageantry and carnival January 26th – April 25th
Sydney: The Association, 1938
Poster
101.2 x 62.4cm
© National Library of Australia

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

 

‘The 26th of January, 1938, is not a day of rejoicing for Australia’s Aborigines; it is a day of mourning. This festival of 150 years’ so-called “progress” in Australia commemorates also 150 years of misery and degradation imposed upon the original native inhabitants by the white invaders of this country.

‘We, representing the Aborigines, now ask you, the reader of this appeal, to pause in the midst of your sesqui-centenary rejoicings and ask yourself honestly whether your “conscience” is clear in regard to the treatment of the Australian blacks by the Australian whites during the period of 150 years’ history which you celebrate?’

‘You are the New Australians, but we are the Old Australians. We have in our arteries the blood of the Original Australians, who have lived in this land for many thousands of years.’

‘You came here only recently, and you took our land away from us by force. You have almost exterminated our people, but there are enough of us remaining to expose the humbug of your claim, as white Australians, to be a civilised, progressive, kindly and humane nation.’

‘Aborigines Claim Citizen Rights!: A Statement of the Case for the Aborigines Progressive Association’, the Publicist, 1938, p. 3 quoted in Anonymous. “The 1938 Day of Mourning,” on the AIATSIS website Nd [Online] Cited 21/02/2022

 

Charles Meere (Australian, 1890-1961) '1788-1938, 150 years of progress: Australia celebrates January 26 - April 25, 1938' 1938

 

Charles Meere (Australian, 1890-1961)
1788-1938, 150 years of progress: Australia celebrates January 26 – April 25, 1938
1938
Poster
101.5 x 63.5cm
© National Library of Australia

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

'Poster advertising the Day of Mourning' 1938

 

Poster advertising the Day of Mourning
1938
AIATSIS Collection

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

 

In 1938, a poster invited “Aborigines and persons of Aboriginal blood” to attend the Day of Mourning and Protest at the Australian Hall, Sydney. It was to be held on 26 January, the 150th anniversary of European colonisation. The protest, calling for full citizen status and equality, was led by William Cooper, Pearl Gibbs, Jack Patten and William Ferguson.

Keith Munro, MCA Curator Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs, says, “The Day of Mourning event is seen as the first Aboriginal civil rights protest in Australian history. The actions that took place on this day later resulted in the establishment of a national day of celebration and achievement, which turned into a longer event now known as NAIDOC Week.”

Anonymous. “Marking 80 years since the Day of Mourning,” on the Museum of Contemporary Art website 17 May 2018 [Online] Cited 21/02/2022

 

Unknown photographer (Australian) 'The first Day of Mourning' 1938

 

Unknown photographer (Australian)
The first Day of Mourning. From the left is William Ferguson, Jack Kinchela, Isaac Ingram, Doris Williams, Esther Ingram, Arthur Williams, Phillip Ingram, Louisa Agnes Ingram OAM holding daughter Olive Ingram, and Jack Patten. The name of the person in the background to the right is not known at this stage.
AIATSIS Collection

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

 

The first Day of Mourning was a culmination of years of work by the Australian Aborigines League (AAL) and the Aborigines Progressive Association (APA). It would became the inspiration for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activism throughout the remainder of the twentieth century. In the early 1960s, both organisations would reform and reshape and become the driving force calling for a constitutional referendum that would take place in 1967.

The AAL was able to persuade many religious denominations to declare the Sunday before Australia Day as ‘Aboriginal Sunday’. This was to serve as a reminder of the unjust treatment of Indigenous people. The first of these took place in 1940 and continued until 1955, when it moved to the first Sunday in July.

In 1957, with support and cooperation from federal and state governments, the churches and major Indigenous organisations, a National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC) was formed, which continues to this day as NAIDOC.

Anonymous. “The 1938 Day of Mourning,” on the AIATSIS website Nd [Online] Cited 21/02/2022

 

Unknown photographer (Australian) 'Jack Patten reads the resolution at the Day of Mourning Conference on 26 January 1938'

 

Unknown photographer (Australian)
Jack Patten reads the resolution at the Day of Mourning Conference on 26 January 1938
Mar. 1938 (publication date), Sydney, N.S.W.: Man magazine
12 x 17cm
© Collections of the State Library of New South Wales

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

Unknown photographer (Australian) 'In this 1938 re-enactment of Governor Phillip's landing, Aborigines (specially brought in for the occasion) are shown running up the beach as the boats of the First Fleet marines land at Farm Cove. A group of white dignitaries sits in comfortable safety watching the invasion' 1938

 

Unknown photographer (Australian)
In this 1938 re-enactment of Governor Phillip’s landing, Aborigines (specially brought in for the occasion) are shown running up the beach as the boats of the First Fleet marines land at Farm Cove. A group of white dignitaries sits in comfortable safety watching the invasion
1938
© Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW – Home and Away

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

Unknown photographer (Australian) 'Aboriginal protests on Sydney Harbour, Australia Day, 1988' 1988

 

Unknown photographer (Australian)
Aboriginal protests on Sydney Harbour, Australia Day, 1988
1988

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) Pat Fiske (director) 'Australia Daze' (film still) 1988

 

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA)
Pat Fiske 
(director)
Australia Daze (film still)
1988

 

 

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA)
Pat Fiske 
(director)
Australia Daze (film clip)
1988

 

 

The production of Australia Daze involved dozens of camera crews across the nation, filming from midnight to midnight on 26 January 1988, in order to capture the many facets of the bicentenary of European settlement in Australia. From First Fleet re-enactments to Indigenous protests, backyard barbeques to royal visits, Australia Daze chronicles a broad array of events on that historic day and diverse voices and perspectives from across Australian society.

Australia Daze is a snapshot of one day in the millennia-long history of the country. The film is an opportunity for Australians to remember where they were, or to catch a glimpse of Australia’s past before they were born or arrived here. It is a chance to reflect on how much things have changed in 33 years – and also how little has changed.

Anonymous media release from the NFSA website Nd [Online] Cited 21/02/2022

 

Loui Seselja (Australian, b. 1948) 'Sydney Harbour Bridge during the Walk for Reconciliation, Corroboree 2000, with the Aboriginal flag flying beside the Australian flag' 2000

 

Loui Seselja (Australian, b. 1948)
Sydney Harbour Bridge during the Walk for Reconciliation, Corroboree 2000, with the Aboriginal flag flying beside the Australian flag
2000
22.5 x 30.7cm
© National Museum of Australia

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

"Untitled," c. 1932-33 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled,” c. 1932-33 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Untitled," October/November, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled,” October/November, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Chrysler 70, bought Nov., 1932," in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Chrysler 70, bought Nov., 1932,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Springfield", Byng, Near Orange, October 1932" in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Springfield”, Byng, Near Orange, October 1932″ in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Byng

… an area of scattered houses in green valleys (when there is no drought) dates back to before 1856.

It was originally named ‘Cornish Village’ after the original Cornish settlers who brought the first fruit trees from Cornwall and gave birth to the Orange district’s fruit industry on the ‘Pendarvis’ property. Apples were produced in Byng for over 100 years but now there are mainly cattle, sheep and a little cropping.

Driving through the winding lanes with hawthorn hedgerows on either side you will see in the distance an old homestead (Springfield) which has an old Celtic custom – on the porch there are three welcome stones. The host stands on one, the guest on another – then they greet each other on the centre stone.

Text from the Orange website [Online] Cited 01/11/2019. No longer available online

 

"Springfield", Byng, Near Orange, October 1932" in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Springfield”, Byng, Near Orange, October 1932″ in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Remains of the first house built in Byng," October, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Remains of the first house built in Byng,” October, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"At Springfield," 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“At Springfield,” 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"J.F. and Woodward," 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“J.F. and Woodward,” 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"At Springfield," 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“At Springfield,” 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Untitled (Rabbiting)," 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled (Rabbiting),” 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Hawksbury River,' 1932-33 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Hawksbury River,’ 1932-33 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Betty Broad," 16th October, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Betty Broad,” 16th October, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Lucknow, Near Orange," November, 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Lucknow, Near Orange,” November, 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Lucknow

1929-1935: Prospecting rarely ever ceases on a once lucrative gold-field and in 1928-9 companies such as St. Algnan’s (New Guinea) Gold Lodes N.L. and Lucknow Gold Options Co. were quite busy. In particular St. Aignan’s found a rich ‘brown vein’ away from ‘that portion already riddled with holes’, at a depth of only 38 feet. …

The village has a large potential to attract tourists. The iron head-frames at Wentworth Main and at Reform, right beside the highway in the village area with their accompanying equipment, are the most strikingly accessible of gold mining memorials. At Wentworth Main moreover, the largest of the iron sheds still contains a great deal of equipment, including the stamper battery and various engines. In the paddock to the west of the highway there is isolated equipment- a boiler, a winding engine. The winding house for Reform still stands.

Anonymous. “Gold mining at Lucknow,” on the Orange website [Online] Cited 01/11/2019

 

"Washing for gold on Springfield," November, 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Washing for gold on Springfield,” November, 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"St. Aignan Gold Mine," November, 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“St. Aignan Gold Mine,” November, 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Springfield," November, 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Springfield,” November, 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Old Bill on the binder," November, 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Old Bill on the binder,” November, 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Woodward : McColville ; J.F., filling the ensilage pit," November, 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Woodward : McColville ; J.F., filling the ensilage pit,” November, 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Silage is a type of fodder made from green foliage crops which have been preserved by acidification, achieved through fermentation. It can be fed to cattle, sheep and other such ruminants (cud-chewing animals). The fermentation and storage process is called ensilage, ensiling or silaging, and is usually made from grass crops, including maize, sorghum or other cereals, using the entire green plant (not just the grain).

 

"At "Millambri", Canowindra," 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“At “Millambri”, Canowindra,” 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Bathurst," November 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Bathurst,” November 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Untitled (Victoria)," November, 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled (Victoria),” November, 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Myers, Melbourne," November 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Myers, Melbourne,” November 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Bourke St., Melbourne," November 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Bourke St., Melbourne,” November 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album back cover

 

John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album back cover

 

 

State Library of New South Wales website

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22
Mar
18

Exhibition: ‘Into the Woods: Trees in Photography’ at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Exhibition dates: 18th November 2017 – 22nd April 2018

 

Gustave Le Gray. 'In the Forest of Fontainbleau (Bas-Bréau)' 1852

 

Gustave Le Gray (French, 1820-1884)
In the Forest of Fontainbleau (Bas-Bréau)
1852
Gold-toned albumen print from waxed paper negative
Chauncey Hare Townshend Bequest 1868

 

 

Gustave Le Gray trained as a painter in the 1840s but took up photography soon after. He followed the Barbizon School painters to the French forest of Fontainebleau, where he made enchanting photographic studies. Combining technical knowledge with artistic flair, Le Gray rapidly became one of the most renowned photographers of his day.

 

 

I grew up on a farm for the first thirteen years of my life. I played in the fields and forests of England, and wandered the cart paths with my brother. I saw him for the first time in thirty years last August, after the passing of my father. We went back and walked those very same paths where we grew up and looked at the magnificent trees planted along the edge of the fields. After all that had happened, it was an emotional and healing journey for both of us…

The innocence of being a child growing up on the land returned, the innocence of something that is never really forgotten. I still am a country boy at heart; I still love the land and the trees. I always will.

It’s a pity then, that this seems to be just a “filler” exhibition from the V&A. No press release, two sentences on the website (see below) and no information about the images such as details of process etc… I had to dig into the collection to find the information you read here, including the text descriptions beneath the images. For such a magical and mythical subject that has fascinated human beings since the beginning of time, you might have expected a more in depth investigation.

As an addendum I have included my favourite tree images. You will have your own. The last image in particular has that element of threat and wonder that makes the forest such a rich, fluid and evocative space.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to the V&A for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Trees have long been a source of inspiration for artists. This display explores the diverse representation of trees in photography – as botanical subjects and poetic symbols, in the context of the natural and human worlds.

 

 

Royal Engineers. 'Cutting on the 49th Parallel, on the Right Bank of the Mooyie River Looking West' about 1860

 

Royal Engineers
Cutting on the 49th Parallel, on the Right Bank of the Mooyie River Looking West
about 1860
Albumen print from wet collodion-on-glass negative
Photographed by a Royal Engineers photographer on a U.S.-Canada Border Survey
Received from the Foreign Office 1863

 

 

In 1856 the War Department appointed the South Kensington Museum photographer Charles Thurston Thompson to teach photography to the Royal Engineers. On one expedition these soldier-photographers documented the border between the USA and Canada. From the crest of the Rockies westwards along the 49th Parallel to the coast, they painstakingly recorded everything that crossed their path, producing ‘one of the earliest significant bodies of photographs made in the Pacific Northwest’.

 

Samuel Bourne. 'Poplar Avenue, Srinuggur, Kashmir, from the end' 1864

 

Samuel Bourne (British, 1834-1912)
Poplar Avenue, Srinuggur, Kashmir, from the end
1864
Albumen print from wet collodion negative

 

 

In 1863 Samuel Bourne (1834-1912) arrived in India. He had left his job as a Nottingham bank clerk in order to develop his new career as a photographer. Bourne undertook three treks to Kashmir and the western Himalayas in 1863, 1864 and 1866, during which he photographed his surroundings extensively.

He began his second trip to India, during which this photograph was taken, in March 1864. It was to be a nine-month expedition through the Kashmir region. Throughout his travels Bourne wrote about his first impressions of the places he visited and these writings were published in the British Journal of Photography. Of his first impressions of the poplar avenues at Srinagar he noted: “The next day was devoted to an ascent of the Takht Hill and a stroll among the poplar avenues, of which, as I before stated, there are several about Srinugger. One of them is known as the “poplar avenue,” and is a mile long and quite straight. This is a fine walk and is almost perfect-hardly a tree is wanting, and the effect on looking down it is very striking. It is carpeted with grassy turf and a level grassy plain stretches on each side of it; at right angles to this are the three or four smaller avenues extending to the river, a walk down which when the grapes are ripe is by no means an enjoyable exercise, if one be a good climber. Running up, and entwining themselves among the poplars to a height of ninety or a hundred feet, are numbers of vines, whose tempting clusters hanging at this elevation only mock the wistful, watery eyes cast up to them.” Bourne, S. “Narrative of a Photographic Trip to Kashmir (Cashmere) and the Adjacent Districts,” in The British Journal of Photography, 23 January 1867, p. 38.

Towards the end of the 1860s, Bourne established a partnership with fellow photographer and Englishman Charles Shepherd (fl.1858-1878) and in the space of a few years Bourne & Shepherd became the pre-eminent photographic firm in India. By the end of 1870 they had three branches, in Simla, Calcutta and Bombay.

Samuel Bourne’s ability to combine technical skill and artistic vision has led to him being recognised today as one of the most outstanding photographers working in India in the nineteenth century.

 

Alfred Stieglitz. 'Poplars, Lake George' 1932

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Poplars, Lake George
1932
Gelatin silver print
© Alfred Stieglitz, Gift of the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation

 

 

Lake George was the family estate where Stieglitz spent his summers, often with his wife, the painter Georgia O’Keefe. However, he took this photograph when O’Keefe was away in New Mexico. The loneliness of separation led Stieglitz to contemplate his own mortality, a theme reflected in this representation of poplars. Perhaps he identified with the trees’ dwindling vitality, as he photographed them repeatedly that summer, almost as one might check one’s pulse.

 

Ansel Adams. 'Aspens, Northern New Mexico' 1958

 

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984)
Aspens, Northern New Mexico
1958
Gelatin silver print
Given by Virginia and Ansel Adams

 

 

Ansel Adams is well-known for his portrayal of the mountain ranges, deserts, rivers and skies of the western United States. Adams was a passionate lover of the vast American wilderness and an active conservationist. He commented, “my approach to photography is based on my belief in the vigour and values of the world of nature – in the aspects of grandeur and of the minutiae all about us.” Having trained as a pianist before turning to photography in 1927, Adams often discussed his process of composition in musical terms.

 

Gerhard Stromberg. 'Coppice (King's Wood)' 1994

 

Gerhard Stromberg (Germany, England b. 1952)
Coppice (King’s Wood)
1994
C-type print
© Gerhard Stromberg

 

Gerhard Stromberg is one of the foremost contemporary photographers working with the subject of the British landscape. His images demonstrate how constructed this landscape can be. The subtle, large format prints (5 x 6 ft approx.) allow the viewer to contemplate details that reveal the photographers’ intimacy and familiarity with the subject. This piece is one of the most representative of his works.

A C-type print, such as Ektachrome, is a colour print in which the print material has at least three emulsion layers of light sensitive silver salts. Each layer is sensitised to a different primary colour – either red, blue or green – and so records different information about the colour make-up of the image. During printing, chemicals are added which form dyes of the appropriate colour in the emulsion layers. It is the most common type of colour photograph.

 

Mark Edwards. 'Rotting Apples' 2004

 

Mark Edwards (British, b. 1951)
Rotting Apples
2004
From the series What Has Been Gathered Will Disperse
C-type print
Purchased through the Cecil Beaton Royalties Fund
© Mark Edwards

 

 

This image of apples lying rotten on a peacock blue carpet was taken in a family garden on a Norfolk nature reserve. The owners use pieces of old carpet, often donated by a neighbouring Buddhist retreat, as weed control. The decorative juxtaposition of the natural with the man-made moved Mark Edwards to record the carpet as it became integrated into the fabric of the garden. The photograph hints at ideas of contemplation and the passage of time.

 

Tokihiro Sato. 'Hakkoda #2' 2009

 

Tokihiro Sato (Japanese, b. 1957)
Hakkoda #2
2009
Gelatin silver print
Purchased with the support of the Photographs Acquisition Group
© Tokihiro Sato, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects

 

 

This photograph embodies Sato’s ephemeral imagination. It was made in the primeval Hakkoda forest, in northern Honshu on the main island of Japan. The image reveals a long fascination with the sculptural form of the Japanese Beech tree. Sato has said that to him ‘these trees suggest the ancient continental origins of the Japanese people while representing masculine strength and feminine sensitivity’. To make the picture, he exposed large-format film, during which he moved in front of the camera with a mirror reflecting the sun’s rays. The power of the sun momentarily ‘blinds’ the camera, creating an area that registers on film as an intense flare of light. Although we know that Sato is standing somewhere in the scene, we struggle to locate precisely where. While his traces are like pinpoint coordinates on a map, all we can do is estimate his continually moving location and follow the possible connecting trails. In this way, his photographs can be seen as enigmatic sculptural or physical performances. Knowing how Sato makes his images, we recognise there is not a multiplicity of presences indicated by the lights, but instead a multiplicity of one presence: the artist’s. His omnipresence might be a hint of some kind of divinity: the ever-present force of an invisible creator. Or it may simply be a record of the movement of one human force. However it is interpreted, human or divine, the light is a kind of mark that asserts both transcendence and specificity: “I was here,” even if, as in life, it is only momentarily.

 

Tal Shochat. 'Rimon (Pomegranate)' 2011

 

Tal Shochat (Israeli, b. 1974)
Rimon (Pomegranate)
2011
C-type print
© Tal Shochat

 

 

Shochat applies the conventions of studio portraiture to photographing trees. The first stage in her meticulous process is to identify the perfect specimen of a particular type of tree. When the fruit is at the height of maturity, she cleans the dust off the branches, leaves and fruit. Finally, Shochat photographs the tree, artificially lit and isolated against a black cloth background. The photographs present a view of nature that would never actually exist in a natural environment. The work highlights the tensions in photography between reality and artifice.

 

Awoiska van der Molen. '#274-5' 2011

 

Awoiska van der Molen (Dutch, b. 1972)
#274-5
2011
From the series Sequester
Oil based pigment ink on Japanese Gampi paper, presented in a handmade linen box
Purchased with the support of the Photographs Acquisition Group
© Awoiska van der Molen

 

 

Awoiska van der Molen (b.1972, Groningen, Netherlands) is a Dutch photographer based in Amsterdam. She studied architecture and photography at the Academy of Fine Arts Minerva in Groningen. In 2003 she graduated from the St. Joost Academy of Art and Design in the Netherlands with an MFA in Photographic Studies. Her work is borne out of an immersion in nature and is concerned with the untamed landscape and the sense of solitude that can be experienced in isolated locations. She works with analogue technology and explains that her pictures should be ‘understood as a metaphysical quest, a journey to the essence of being.’

For the project Sequester, van der Molen walked alone in the Canary Islands, seeking to ‘gain access to the stoic nature of the landscape’, as she describes it. She made long exposure black-and-white pictures of the dramatic volcanic terrain and dense forests at dawn and dusk. The exposures could be as long as thirty minutes and result in photographs of great intensity and ambiguity.

Van der Molen’s photographs go beyond the long tradition of black and white landscape photography, exemplified by photographers in the V&A collection such as Gustave Le Gray, Samuel Bourne, Ansel Adams, and Edward Weston. Rather than emulating the visual approaches of past masters, she seeks to portray the inner condition that uninhabited natural spaces engender.

Her interest in psychological states in relation to landscape can be aligned with that of numerous contemporary practitioners, including Chrystel Lebas and Nicholas Hughes, whose landscape photographs are also created using long exposures and convey a similar atmosphere of primeval power and solitude.

The collotype process is a screenless photomechanical process that allows high-quality prints from continuous-tone photographic negatives. Collotypes are comprised of many layers of ink and have a velvety matte appearance; the process has the power to produce the depth and detail of these works faithfully. Other examples of collotypes in the collection largely date from the 19th century and include works by Eadweard Muybridge and Julia Margaret Cameron. Once a widespread process, today, there are only two professional collotype studios remaining, both of which are in Kyoto.

In 2014, van der Molen received the Japanese Hariban Award, which gave her the opportunity to collaborate with the master printmakers of the Benrido Collotype Atelier in Kyoto to produce this set of 8 collotypes from the Sequester project.

 

Addendum

 

Carleton Watkins (U.S.A., 1829-1916) 'Yosemite Valley from the "Best General View"' 1866

 

Carleton Watkins (American, 1829-1916)
Yosemite Valley from the “Best General View”
1866
From the album Photographs of the Yosemite Valley
Albumen print
Lent by Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries

 

 

Carleton Watkins had the ability to photograph a subject from the viewpoint that allowed the most information to be revealed about its contents. In this image, he captured what he considered the best features of Yosemite Valley: Bridalveil Falls, Cathedral Rock, Half Dome, and El Capitan. By positioning the camera so that the base of the slender tree appears to grow from the bottom edge of the picture, Watkins composed the photograph so that the canyon rim and the open space beyond it seem to intersect. Although he sacrificed the top of the tree, he was able to place the miniaturised Yosemite Falls at the visual centre of the picture. To alleviate the monotony of an empty sky, he added the clouds from a second negative. This image was taken while Watkins was working for the California Geological Survey. His two thousand pounds of equipment for the expedition, which included enough glass for over a hundred negatives, required a train of six mules.

Text from the J. Paul Getty Museum website

 

Albert Renger-Patzsch (1897-1966) 'Das Bäumchen [Sapling]' 1928

 

Albert Renger-Patzsch (German, 1897-1966)
Das Bäumchen (The little tree)
1928
Galerie Berinson, Berlin
© Albert Renger-Patzsch / Archiv Ann und Jürgen Wilde, Zülpich / ADAGP, Paris 2017

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Dancing Trees' 1922

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Dancing Trees
1922
Photograph, palladium print
Gift of Alfred Stieglitz
Photograph: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Ansel Adams. 'Edward Weston, Carmel Highlands, California' 1945

 

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984)
Edward Weston, Carmel Highlands, California
1945
Gelatin silver print

 

Wynn Bullock (American, 1902-1975) 'Child on Forest Road' 1958, printed 1973

 

Wynn Bullock (American, 1902-1975)
Child on Forest Road
1958
Gelatin silver print
© Bullock Family Photography LLC. All rights reserved

 

 

Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
London
SW7 2RL
Phone: +44 (0)20 7942 2000

Opening hours:
Daily 10.00 – 17.30
Friday 10.00 – 21.30

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01
Nov
17

Exhibition: ‘Alfred Stieglitz and Modern America’ at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Exhibition dates: 22nd July – 5th November 2017

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'The Steerage' 1907

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
The Steerage
1907
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Miss Georgia O’Keeffe
Photograph: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

Look at the tonality and sensuality in Georgia O’Keeffe: A Portrait (8) (1919, below) and Dancing Trees (1922, below). No one would ever think of printing a photograph like that today!

Marcus

.
Many thankx to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

This exhibition presents a selection of the MFA’s exceptional holdings of works by Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946), the great American impresario of photography at the turn of the 20th century. Featuring 36 photographs, the exhibition showcases fine examples of his New York views, portraits and photographs that Stieglitz took at his family’s country home at Lake George. The New York views reveal the artist’s lifelong interest in the city, from his early explorations of the picturesque effects of rain, snow and nightfall to later ones that focus on the inherent geometry of modernity’s rising architectural structures. The portraits include 10 images from Stieglitz’s magnificent extended series of images of his wife, the celebrated painter Georgia O’Keeffe – a “portrait in time” that reflects his ideals of modern womanhood and is evocative of their close relationship. These portraits are accompanied by additional images of members of his family and friends.

The Lake George photographs include, in addition to views of the family property, a sequence of the mystical cloud studies that Stieglitz called “equivalents,” which explore the interpretation of inner states of being. Many of the photographs on view were donated by Stieglitz to the MFA in 1924 – making it one of the first museums in the US to collect photography as fine art. Enhanced by an additional gift from O’Keeffe in 1950, the MFA’s Stieglitz holdings form an outstanding survey of the photographer’s career, as well as the cornerstone of the Museum’s photography collection.

Text from the MFA website

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'From the Back Window - "291" (1)' 1915

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
From the Back Window – “291” (1)
1915
Photograph, platinum print
Gift of Alfred Stieglitz
Photograph: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

291

291 is the commonly known name for an internationally famous art gallery that was located in Midtown Manhattan at 291 Fifth Avenue in New York City from 1905 to 1917. Originally known as the “Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession“, the gallery was created and managed by photographer Alfred Stieglitz.

The gallery is famous for two reasons. First, the exhibitions there helped bring art photography to the same stature in America as painting and sculpture. Pioneering artistic photographers such as Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Gertrude Käsebier and Clarence H. White all gained critical recognition through exhibitions at 291. Equally important, Stieglitz used this space to introduce to the United States some of the most avant-garde European artists of the time, including Henri Matisse, Auguste Rodin, Henri Rousseau, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Constantin Brâncuși, and the Dadaists Francis Picabia and Marcel Duchamp.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe: A Portrait (4)' 1918

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe: A Portrait (4)
1918
Gelatin silver print
The Alfred Stieglitz Collection – Gift of the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation, Sophie M. Friedman Fund and Lucy Dalbiac Luard Fund
Photograph: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Dorothy True' 1919

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Dorothy True
1919
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Alfred Stieglitz
Photograph: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

First published in 1921 with the caption “Watch your step!” in the single issue of Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray’s magazine New York Dada, Stieglitz’s surreal portrait was a happy accident. Attempting to capture the modern character of Dorothy True, a friend of Georgia O’Keeffe, Stieglitz made two exposures: a conventional, full-face portrait and a view of one artfully posed leg. Stieglitz was thrilled with the fortuitous superimposition of the images, believing that together they captured the spirit of the postwar American female. While the equation of short hair and skirts with women’s liberation might seem trite today, Stieglitz made the portrait in 1919, the year that Congress extended suffrage to women. In 1926, he exhibited it with the title American Girl.

Text from the Metropolitan Museum of Art website

 

This double exposure of the face and leg of Dorothy True constitutes an unusual portrait. Her somewhat somber face, very faint, is not immediately apparent, but slowly a mouth, nose, and eye begin to reveal themselves in the black-stockinged ankle and calf. Alone, the image of the leg is an interesting one; her foot appears veritably stuffed into her stylish, patent leather pump. Her instep bulges out of the top of the shoe, and the leather ripples from the pressure at the toe, making the foot an almost sculptural form.

True appears to step down upon overturned prints or mats. A chair casts a graphic shadow across the floor, and a vertical paper backdrop echoes the black shadow at the upper left, uncovered by the sagging paper. The neat triangle of True’s skirt lends additional geometric balance.

Text from the Getty Museum website

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe: A Portrait (8)' 1919

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe: A Portrait (8)
1919
Palladium print, solarised
Gift of Alfred Stieglitz
Photograph: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia Engelhard' 1920

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia Engelhard
1920
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Alfred Stieglitz
Photograph: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

Georgia Engelhard (1906-1986)

Georgia Engelhard was the first child of George Engelhard and Agnes Stieglitz. It is as the niece of Alfred Stieglitz, modernism’s most successful early booster in the United States, that Engelhard’s artistic career was encouraged. From the age of 12 to 22 she corresponded regularly with Stieglitz who serve as a confidant to the young woman. Engelhard occasionally posed for Stieglitz and the uncle honoured her with an exhibition at his famous gallery, 291, when she was only ten years old. (Stieglitz’s motivation to show his niece’s work was more than likely a response to Wassily Kandinsky’s proposition that there was a fundamental spirituality to be found in true art and that children’s art had the ability to convey this “inner truth.”)

It is under the tutelage of Stieglitz’s wife, Georgia O’Keeffe, that Engelhard matured as a painter. In biographies Engelhard is repeatedly mentioned as O’Keeffe’s friend and companion. Georgia minor, as Engelhard was called, served as comic release for the older artist who often found Stieglitz and his family oppressive. The two artists frequently painted together at Stiegltiz’s summer house on Lake George and occasionally took excursions together. Engelhard’s paintings reflect O’Keeffe’s influence – flat areas of pure colour and sensuous curves are used to define the landscape. …

Despite a paralysing fear of heights, Engelhard became a premier mountain climber at the age of 20 and was the first female climber to ascend many of the peaks in the Canadian Rockies. Engelhard’s determination to overcome this specific fear evolved into a passion for the mountains that lasted throughout her lifetime…

Engelhard was also a writer and an accomplished photographer. In 1938 when she began living with Eaton Cromwell she stopped painting and together the couple pursued photography. While living in Switzerland they sold a number of their pictures to postcard companies. Few of Georgia Engelhard’s paintings are in existence today and when one does appear there is often a dispute about whether the canvas comes from O’Keefe’s hands or Engelhard’s.

Anonymous text. “Georgia Engelhard,” on the JWL Collection website [Online] Cited 05/01/2022

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe: A Portrait (9)' probably around 1921

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe: A Portrait (9)
probably around 1921
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Alfred Stieglitz
Photograph: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Dancing Trees' 1922

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Dancing Trees
1922
Palladium print
Gift of Alfred Stieglitz
Photograph: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Equivalent' 1926

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Equivalent
1926
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Miss Georgia O’Keeffe
Photograph: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

“How to hold a moment, how to record something so completely, that all who see it will relive an equivalent of what has been expressed.”

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe: A Portrait (15)' 1930

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe: A Portrait (15)
1930
Gelatin silver print
The Alfred Stieglitz Collection – Gift of the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation and M. and M. Karolik Fund
Photograph: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'House and Grape Leaves' 1934

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
House and Grape Leaves
1934
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Miss Georgia O’Keeffe
Photograph: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'From the Shelton, Looking West' 1935-36

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
From the Shelton, Looking West
1935-36
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Miss Georgia O’Keeffe
Photograph: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Avenue of the Arts
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts

Opening hours:
Monday and Tuesday 10am – 5pm
Wednesday – Friday 10am – 10pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am – 5pm

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston website

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07
Jul
17

Exhibition: ‘Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern’ at the Brooklyn Museum, New York

Exhibition dates: 3rd March – 23rd July 2017

 

Hilda Belcher (American 1881-1963) 'The Checkered Dress (Young Georgia O'Keeffe)' 1907

 

Hilda Belcher (American, 1881-1963)
The Checkered Dress (Young Georgia O’Keeffe)
1907
Oil on canvas

 

 

I love this woman. Such style, class and talent.

Fabulous art, clothes and photographs. An icon in every sense of the word.

Marcus

.
Many thankx to the Brooklyn Museum for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe at 291' 1917

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe at 291
1917
Platinum print
9 5/8 x 7 5/8 in. (24.3 x 19.4cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Blue #2' 1916

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Blue #2
1916
Watercolour on paper
15 7/8 x 11 in. (40.3 x 27.8cm)
Brooklyn Museum; Bequest of Mary T. Cockcroft, by exchange
Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum

 

 

“Even in photographs in which O’Keeffe gazes directly at the camera, she telegraphs an elegant aloofness – not a coldness, exactly, but a demand to be seen from a distance, like the vast Southwestern landscapes that she made her own. Looking into her face repeated on gallery walls, I was reminded of the way a horizon invites one’s eye to the farthest possible point. Our gaze shifts; the horizon stays the same.”

Haley Mlotek. “Georgia O’Keeffe’s Powerful Personal Style,” on the The NewYorker website April 6, 2017 [Online] Cited 21/12/2021

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe' 1918

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe
1918, printed 1920s
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Alfred Stieglitz Collection
© Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe' c. 1920-22

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe
c. 1920-22
Gelatin silver print
4 1/2 x 3 1/2 in. (11.4 x 9cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

 

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern takes a new look at how the renowned modernist artist proclaimed her progressive, independent lifestyle through a self-crafted public persona – including her clothing and the way she posed for the camera. The exhibition expands our understanding of O’Keeffe by focusing on her wardrobe, shown for the first time alongside key paintings and photographs. It confirms and explores her determination to be in charge of how the world understood her identity and artistic values.

In addition to selected paintings and items of clothing, the exhibition presents photographs of O’Keeffe and her homes by Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz, Philippe Halsman, Yousuf Karsh, Cecil Beaton, Andy Warhol, Bruce Weber, and others. It also includes works that entered the Brooklyn collection following O’Keeffe’s first-ever museum exhibition – held at the Brooklyn Museum in 1927.

The exhibition is organised in sections that run from her early years, when O’Keeffe crafted a signature style of dress that dispensed with ornamentation; to her years in New York, in the 1920s and 1930s, when a black-and-white palette dominated much of her art and dress; and to her later years in New Mexico, where her art and clothing changed in response to the surrounding colours of the Southwestern landscape. The final section explores the enormous role photography played in the artist’s reinvention of herself in the Southwest, when a younger generation of photographers visited her, solidifying her status as a pioneer of modernism and as a contemporary style icon.

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern is organised by guest curator Wanda M. Corn, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor Emerita in Art History, Stanford University, and coordinated by Lisa Small, Curator of European Painting and Sculpture, Brooklyn Museum.

 

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Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern installation view with Alfred Stieglitz’s Georgia O’Keeffe at 291 (1917) at left, and Gaston Lachaise’s sculpture Georgia O’Keeffe (1925-27) at centre

 

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern installation view with her painting Clam and Mussel (1926) second left

 

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern installation view with her painting Manhattan (1932) left, and Brooklyn Bridge (1949) right

 

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern installation view with her painting Rams Head, White Hollyhock – Hills (Rams Head and White Hollyhock, New Mexico) (1935) at right

 

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern installation view with her painting In the Patio IX (1950) at right, and an Emilio Pucci dress second right

 

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern installation view with her painting The Mountain, New Mexico (1931) at left

 

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern installation view

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern installation view with Georgia O’Keeffe by Irving Penn (1948) second left, and Georgia O’Keeffe by Laura Gilpin (1953) at right

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern installation views
© Jonathan Dorado

 

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe' 1922

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe
1922
Gelatin silver print
24.1 x 19.4cm
Art Institute of Chicago, Alfred Stieglitz Collection

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Pool in the Woods, Lake George' 1922

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Pool in the Woods, Lake George
1922
Pastel on paper
17 x 27 1/2 in. (43.3 x 69.9cm)
Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Gift of Barbara B. Millhouse in memory of E. Carter, Nancy Susan Reynolds, and Winifred Babcock
Courtesy of Reynolda House Museum of American Art, affiliated with Wake Forest University
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Black Pansy & Forget-Me-Nots (Pansy)' 1926

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Black Pansy & Forget-Me-Nots (Pansy)
1926
Oil on canvas
27 1/8 x 12 1/4 in. (68.9 x 31.1cm)
Brooklyn Museum; Gift of Mrs. Alfred S. Rossin
Photo: Christine Gant, Brooklyn Museum

 

Gaston Lachaise (American (born France) 1882-1935) 'Georgia O’Keeffe' 1925-27

 

Gaston Lachaise (American born France, 1882-1935)
Georgia O’Keeffe
1925-27
Alabaster
H. 22 3/4 x W. 7 3/4 x D. 12 1/4 in. (57.8 x 19.7 x 31.1cm); including 5 3/4 in. high base. Weight 70lb (31.8kg)
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe, Prospect Mountain, Lake George' 1927

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe, Prospect Mountain, Lake George
1927
Gelatin silver print
4 5/8 x 3 5/8 in. (11.8 x 9.3cm)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Alfred Stieglitz Collection
© Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington

 

Attributed to Georgia O'Keeffe. 'Dress (Tunic and Underdress)' c. 1926

 

Attributed to Georgia O’Keeffe
Dress (Tunic and Underdress)
c. 1926
Ivory silk crepe
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton
Photo: © Gavin Ashworth

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Line and Curve' 1927

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Line and Curve
1927
Oil on canvas
32 x 16 1/4 in. (81.2 x 41.2cm)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Bequest of Georgia O’Keeffe
© Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Clam and Mussel' 1926

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Clam and Mussel
1926
Oil on canvas
48 1/8 × 29 7/9 in. (122.2 × 75.6cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe / Art Resource, NY
© ARS, NY The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe

 

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern offers a new look at the iconic American artist’s powerful ownership of her identity as an artist and a woman. This major exhibition examines the modernist persona that Georgia O’Keeffe crafted for herself through her art, her dress, and her progressive, independent lifestyle. It will mark the first time O’Keeffe’s understated yet remarkable wardrobe will be presented in dialogue with key paintings, photographs, jewellery, accessories, and ephemera. Opening on March 3, Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern represents a homecoming of sorts, as the artist had her first solo museum exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, in 1927.

On view through July 23, 2017, Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern is part of A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum, a yearlong project celebrating a decade of feminist thinking at the Brooklyn Museum.

In addition to a number of O’Keeffe’s key paintings and never-before-exhibited selections from her wardrobe, the exhibition will also feature portraits of her by such luminary photographers as Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Philippe Halsman, Yousuf Karsh, Todd Webb, Cecil Beaton, Bruce Weber, Annie Leibovitz, and others. These images, along with the garments and artworks on view, testify to the ways that O’Keeffe learned to use photographic sittings as a way to construct her persona, framing her status as a pioneer of modernism and as a style icon.

“Fifteen years ago I learned that when Georgia O’Keeffe died and left her two homes to her estate, her closets were filled with her belongings. The O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe now owns the homes and their contents, but no one had yet studied the sixty years of dresses, coats, suits, casual wear, and accessories she left behind. I took on that task. The Georgia O’Keeffe who emerged from my research and is presented in this exhibition was an artist not only in her studio but also in her homemaking and self-fashioning,” says guest curator, Wanda M. Corn, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor Emerita in Art History, Stanford University.

“This exhibition reveals O’Keeffe’s commitment to core principles associated with modernism – minimalism, seriality, simplification – not only in her art, but also in her distinctive style of dress,” says Lisa Small, Curator of European Painting and Sculpture, Brooklyn Museum, who serves as the exhibition’s in-house coordinator.

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern opens with an introduction that demonstrates how O’Keeffe began to craft her signature clothing style as a high school student, dispensing with the bows and frills worn by young women at the time. The exhibition continues in four parts. The first is devoted to New York in the 1920s and ’30s, when she lived with Alfred Stieglitz and made many of her own clothes. It also examines Stieglitz’s multiyear, serial portrait project, which ultimately helped her to become one of the most photographed American artists in history and contributed to her understanding of photography’s power to shape her public image.

Her years in New Mexico comprise the second section, in which the desert landscape – surrounded by colour in the yellows, pinks, and reds of rocks and cliffs, and the blue sky – influenced her painting and dress palette. A small third section explores the influence and importance of Asian aesthetics in her personal style. The final section displays images made after Stieglitz’s era by photographers who came to visit her in the Southwest.

Press release from the Brooklyn Museum

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe' 1929

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe
1929
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Alfred Stieglitz Collection
© Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Manhattan' 1932

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Manhattan
1932
Oil on canvas
84 3/8 x 48 1/4 in. (214.3 x 122.6cm)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation
Photo: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C./Art Resource, NY

 

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984) 'Georgia O'Keeffe and Orville Cox' 1937

 

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984)
Georgia O’Keeffe and Orville Cox
1937
Gelatin silver print
7 3/4 x 11 in. (19.7 x 27.9cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation
© 2016 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

 

Attributed to Georgia O'Keeffe. 'Blouse' c. early to mid-1930s

 

Attributed to Georgia O’Keeffe
Blouse
c. early to mid-1930s
White linen
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton
Photo: © Gavin Ashworth

 

Attributed to Georgia O'Keeffe. 'Dress with Matching Belt' c. 1930s

 

Attributed to Georgia O’Keeffe
Dress with Matching Belt
c. 1930s
Black wool, crepe and white silk
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton
Photo: © Gavin Ashworth

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'The Mountain, New Mexico' 1931

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
The Mountain, New Mexico
1931
Oil on canvas
30 1/16 × 36 1/8 in. (76.4 × 91.8cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Rams Head, White Hollyhock - Hills' (Rams Head and White Hollyhock, New Mexico) 1935

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Rams Head, White Hollyhock – Hills (Rams Head and White Hollyhock, New Mexico)
1935
Oil on canvas
30 x 36 in. (76.2 x 91.4cm)
Brooklyn Museum; Bequest of Edith and Milton Lowenthal
Photo: Brooklyn Museum

 

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984) 'Georgia O'Keeffe at Yosemite' 1938

 

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984)
Georgia O’Keeffe at Yosemite
1938
Gelatin silver print
5 3/4 x 3 3/8 in. (14.5 x 8.7cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation
© 2016 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Brooklyn Bridge' 1949

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Brooklyn Bridge
1949
Oil on Masonite
48 x 35 7/8 in. (121.8 x 91.1cm)
Brooklyn Museum; Bequest of Mary Childs Draper
Photo: Brooklyn Museum

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'In the Patio IX' 1950

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986)
In the Patio IX
1950
Oil on canvas mounted on panel
H- 30 x W- 40 in. (76.2 x 101.6cm)
The Jan T. and Marica Vilcek Collection
© The Vilcek Foundation

 

Laura Gilpin (American, 1891-1979) 'Georgia O'Keeffe' 1953

 

Laura Gilpin (American, 1891-1979)
Georgia O’Keeffe
1953
Gelatin silver print
24.1 x 19.4cm
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.
© 1979 Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986) 'Patio with Cloud' 1956

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Patio with Cloud
1956
Oil on canvas
36 x 30 in. (91.4 x 76.2cm)
Milwaukee Art Museum; Gift of Mrs. Edward R. Wehr
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Photo: P. Richard Eells

 

Todd Webb (American, 1905-2000) 'Georgia O'Keeffe on Ghost Ranch Portal, New Mexico' c. 1960s

 

Todd Webb (American, 1905-2000)
Georgia O’Keeffe on Ghost Ranch Portal, New Mexico
c. 1960s
Gelatin silver print
10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation
© Estate of Todd Webb, Portland, ME

 

'Padded Kimono (Tanzen)' c. 1960s-70s

 

Padded Kimono (Tanzen)
c. 1960s-70s
Silk with woven black and gray stripe
Inner garment: Kimono. White linen (?)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton
Photo: © Gavin Ashworth

 

Bruce Weber (American, born 1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe, Abiquiu, N.M.' 1984

 

Bruce Weber (American, born 1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe, Abiquiu, N.M.
1984
Gelatin silver print
14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9cm)
Bruce Weber and Nan Bush Collection, New York
© Bruce Weber

 

'Emsley. Suit (Jacket, Pants, and Vest)' 1983

 

Emsley. Suit (Jacket, Pants, and Vest)
1983
Black wool
Inner garment: Lord & Taylor. Shirt
c. 1960s. White cotton
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton
Photo: © Gavin Ashworth

 

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984) 'Georgia O'Keeffe, Carmel Highlands, California' 1981

 

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984)
Georgia O’Keeffe, Carmel Highlands, California
1981
Gelatin silver print
10 1/8 x 13 1/8 in. (25.7 x 33.3cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; Gift of Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton
© 2016 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

 

'Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern' by Wanda Corn book cover 2017

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern by Wanda Corn book cover 2017
Courtesy of Delmonico Books Prestel

 

 

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28
Oct
16

Exhibition: ‘Georgia O’Keeffe’ at Tate Modern, London

Exhibition dates: 6th July – 30th October 2016

Curators: Tanya Barson, Curator, Tate Modern with Hannah Johnston, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern.

 

 

Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) 'Untitled [O'Keeffe with sketchpad and watercolors]' 1918

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Untitled (O’Keeffe with sketchpad and watercolors)
1918
Silver gelatin print

 

 

A beautiful world

I won’t say much about the work of Georgia O’Keeffe here. This is because I want to review the exhibition O’Keeffe, Preston, Cossington Smith: Making Modernism at Heide Museum of Modern Art that I went to see last weekend, in an upcoming posting.

Briefly I can comment on the influence of photography, calligraphy and Japanese printmaking on her artistic practice. With their flattened perspective, manipulation of scale, and forms shaped by light, her paintings are a synthesis, a synesthesia of interior and exterior e/motions linked to music and the modern. As Louisa Buck notes, “Texture and painterly qualities were not what was important in the depiction of her smoothed, abstracted forms… Tellingly, she once declared that “art must be a unity of expression so complete that the medium becomes unimportant.””

Important in that unity of expression is the flow of energy in time and space. Throughout a career that spanned many years O’Keeffe never lost that bravura rendition of energy that was present in her early watercolours. The concerns that were present in the first work, developed throughout her career, were still present at the very end in different form. O’Keeffe wasn’t obsessed with the power of the image but rather with insight into the condition of the image, and how it resolved and portrayed the world in its many forms. Texture was not necessary to this clear seeing… of beauty in the intricacy of nature, of Black Place / White Space, and of the faraway – “that memory or dream thing”. Far Away.

Marcus

.
Please click on the artwork for a larger version of the image.

 

 

“When I started painting the pelvis bones I was most interested in the holes in the bones – what I saw through them – particularly the blue from holding them up against the sky… They were the most beautiful thing against the Blue – that Blue that will always be there as it is now after all man’s destruction is finished.”

“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing – and keeping the unknown always beyond you.”

“Someone else’s vision will never be as good as your own vision of yourself. Live and die with it ’cause in the end it’s all you have. Lose it and you lose yourself and everything else. I should have listened to myself.”

.
Georgia O’Keeffe

 

 

“The radical cropping, and the use of fore- and background, but less so of a middle-ground, is clearly influenced by photography – in particular the work of her friend Paul Strand (1890-1976) – but it is disingenuous to suggest that her painting is just like photography, or that photography captures the scenery better (as has been said about some of the works in this exhibition) – since her painterly quality, despite the flatness of the surface, creates a vast sense of space in the composition, reflecting the monumentality of the landscape and a true sense of the expansive horizon. Her landscapes pulsate and, unlike photography, which captures one decisive moment, they are living and breathing. The colours she chooses reflect the atmosphere of the place – particularly the heat of the New Mexico desert – and it is this affinity to a place, this experience of a landscape, that O’Keeffe paints best…

Is it therefore correct that the first major exhibition of O’Keeffe’s work in the UK in 20 years – marking the centenary of her 1916 debut exhibition at 291 – should portray her as half of a co-dependent artistic duo? Of the 221 works in the show, from 71 lenders, only 115 are major O’Keeffes. The rest comprise works by Stieglitz, Strand, Ansel Adams (1902-84), and others – all men – from the sphere in which she was working. What male artist of this calibre would have nearly half the items in his major retrospective made up of works by women who had been working around him? …

Her initial representational painting would be done from life, out in the open air, then she would take the canvas home to her studio and work over it so that it took on an emotional resonance – something she described as: “that memory or dream thing I do that for me comes nearer reality than my objective kind of work”. She painted on canvas with a very fine weave and coated it with a special primer to make the surface extremely smooth, blending one colour into the next, making sure that the brushstrokes were invisible. Her colours remain rich and bright to this day – O’Keeffe was a painter who knew what she was doing on every level.”

Anna McNay, “Georgia O’Keeffe,” on the Studio International website 15 August 2016

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Sunrise' 1916

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Sunrise
1916
Watercolour on paper
22.5 x 30.2cm
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS 2016
Courtesy Barney Ebsworth collection

 

 

“The Texas country that I know is the plains. It was land like the ocean all the way around. Hardly anybody liked it, but I loved it. The wind blew too hard, the dust flew, and we had heavy dust storms. I’ve come in many times when I’d be the colour of the road. At night you could drive away from the town, right out into space. You didn’t have to drive on the road, and when the sunset was gone, you turned around and went back, lighted by the light of the town.”

Georgia O’Keeffe in the film Georgia O’Keeffe, produced and directed by Perry Miller Adato; a WNET/THIRTEEN production for Women in Art, 1977. Portrait of an Artist, no.1; series distributed by Films, Inc./Home Vision, New York.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'No. 12 Special' 1916

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
No. 12 Special
1916
Charcoal on paper, 61 x 48.3cm
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS 2016
Photo © 2015 Digital image, The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence

 

 

“I was busy in the daytime and I made most of these drawings at night. I sat on the floor and worked against the closet door. Eyes can see shapes. It’s as if my mind creates shapes that I don’t know about. I get this shape in my head and sometimes I know what it comes from and sometimes I don’t. And I think with myself that there are a few shapes that I have repeated a number of times during my life and I haven’t known I was repeating them until after I had done it.”

Georgia O’Keeffe in the film Georgia O’Keeffe, produced and directed by Perry Miller Adato; a WNET/THIRTEEN production for Women in Art, 1977. Portrait of an Artist, no.1; series distributed by Films, Inc./Home Vision, New York.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe. 'Untitled (Abstraction/Portrait of Paul Strand)' 1917

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Untitled (Abstraction/Portrait of Paul Strand)
1917
Watercolour on paper

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Blue I' 1916

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Blue I
1916
Watercolour on paper
78.4 x 56.5cm
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS 2016
Photo © 2007 Christie’s Images Limited

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Music - Pink and Blue No 1' 1918

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Music – Pink and Blue No 1
1918
Oil on canvas
88.9 x 73.7cm
Collection of Barney A. Ebsworth. Partial and Promised gift to Seattle Art Museum
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS 2016

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Blue and Green Music' 1921

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Blue and Green Music
1921
Oil on canvas
58.4 x 48.3cm
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, gift of Georgia O’Keeffe
The Art Institute of Chicago © The Art Institute of Chicago

 

 

O’Keeffe was inspired by the European modernist movement and Kandinsky’s theories on how visual art can or should be pure patterns of form, colour and line as opposed to representing the material world. Blue and Green Music incorporates these ideas with O’Keeffe’s love of landscapes and the natural world.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'From the Lake No. 1' 1924

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
From the Lake No. 1
1924
Oil on canvas
91.4 x 76.2cm
Purchased with funds from the Coffin Fine Arts Trust; Nathan Emory Coffin Collection of the Des Moines Art Center
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/ DACS, London

 

 

Throughout her early work, O’Keeffe was influenced by the European modernist movement and how visual art could be pure patterns of form, colour and line as opposed to representing the material world. From the Lake No.1 clearly demonstrates these ideas, coupled with her enthusiasm for nature and her fascination with bodies of water.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Autumn Trees - The Maple' 1924

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Autumn Trees – The Maple
1924
Oil on canvas
91.4 x 76.2 cm
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Gift of The Burnett Foundation and Gerald and Kathleen Peters
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/ DACS, London

 

 

O’Keeffe made many paintings during her regular trips to Lake George, New York, especially of the vibrant colours of the leaves and trees during autumn. Throughout her life she was deeply inspired by nature and was famous for painting natural objects such as flowers, shells and landscapes from areas she lived in throughout her life, or made painting trips to.

 

 

Tate Modern presents the largest retrospective of modernist painter Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) ever to be shown outside of America. Marking a century since O’Keeffe’s debut in New York in 1916, it is the first UK exhibition of her work for over twenty years. This ambitious and wide-ranging survey reassesses the artist’s place in the canon of twentieth-century art and reveals her profound importance. With no works by O’Keeffe in UK public collections, the exhibition is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for European audiences to view her oeuvre in such depth.

Widely recognised as a founding figure of American modernism, O’Keeffe gained a central position in leading art circles between the 1910s and the 1970s. She was also claimed as an important pioneer by feminist artists of the 1970s. Spanning the six decades in which O’Keeffe was at her most productive and featuring over 100 major works, the exhibition charts the progression of her practice from her early abstract experiments to her late works, aiming to dispel the clichés that persist about the artist and her painting.

Opening with the moment of her first showings at ‘291’ gallery in New York in 1916 and 1917, the exhibition features O’Keeffe’s earliest mature works made while she was working as a teacher in Virginia and Texas. Charcoals such as Special No.9 1915 and Early No. 2 1915 are shown alongside a select group of highly coloured watercolours and oils, such as Sunrise 1916 and Blue and Green Music 1919. These works investigate the relationship of form to landscape, music, colour and composition, and reveal O’Keeffe’s developing understanding of synaesthesia.

A room in the exhibition considers O’Keeffe’s professional and personal relationship with Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946); photographer, modern art promoter and the artist’s husband. While Stieglitz increased O’Keeffe’s access to the most current developments in avant-garde art, she employed these influences and opportunities to her own objectives. Her keen intellect and resolute character created a fruitful relationship that was, though sometimes conflictive, one of reciprocal influence and exchange. A selection of photography by Stieglitz is shown, including portraits and nudes of O’Keeffe as well as key figures from the avant-garde circle of the time, such as Marsden Hartley (1877-1943) and John Marin (1870-1953).

Still life formed an important investigation within O’Keeffe’s work, most notably her representations and abstractions of flowers. The exhibition explores how these works reflect the influence she took from modernist photography, such as the play with distortion in Calla Lily in Tall Glass – No. 2 1923 and close cropping in Oriental Poppies 1927. A highlight is Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 1932, one of O’Keeffe’s most iconic flower paintings.

O’Keeffe’s most persistent source of inspiration however was nature and the landscape; she painted both figurative works and abstractions drawn from landscape subjects. Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico / Out of Black Marie’s II 1930 and Red and Yellow Cliffs 1940 chart O’Keeffe’s progressive immersion in New Mexico’s distinctive geography, while works such as Taos Pueblo 1929/34 indicate her complex response to the area and its layered cultures. Stylised paintings of the location she called the ‘Black Place’ are at the heart of the exhibition.

Georgia O’Keeffe is curated by Tanya Barson, Curator, Tate Modern with Hannah Johnston, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern. The exhibition is organised by Tate Modern in collaboration with Bank Austria Kunstforum, Vienna and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. It is accompanied by a catalogue from Tate Publishing and a programme of talks and events in the gallery.

Press release from Tate Modern

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'New York Street with Moon' 1925

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
New York Street with Moon
1925
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (Madrid, Spain)
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS, London

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Radiator Building - Night, New York' 1927

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Radiator Building – Night, New York
1927
Oil on canvas
121.9 x 76.2cm
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Co-owned by Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/ DACS, London Photo: by Edward C. Robison III

 

 

While living in New York in the 1920s and 1930s O’Keefe made many paintings of the city inspired by the architecture and lifestyle. In Radiator Building – Night, New York O’Keeffe displays her keen eye for composition and uses colour sparingly, but expertly, to convey the atmosphere of the city at night.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986)'East River from the 30th Story of the Shelton Hotel' 1928

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
East River from the 30th Story of the Shelton Hotel
1928
Oil on canvas
76.2 x 122.2cm
Courtesy of the New Britain Museum of American Art Stephen B. Lawrence Fund
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/ DACS, London

 

 

O’Keeffe lived in New York during the 1920s and 30s and made many paintings of the city despite being told to ‘leave New York to the men’. She lived in The Shelton Hotel in Manhattan, for 11 years and this piece is a beautiful example of the studies she created of the city from above in her 30th floor apartment.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Lake George' 1922

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Lake George
1922
Oil on canvas
16 1/4 in. x 22 in
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of Charlotte Mack

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Grey Lines with Black, Blue and Yellow' c. 1923

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Grey Lines with Black, Blue and Yellow
c. 1923
Oil on canvas
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston, USA)
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS, London

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Red Canna' 1924

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Red Canna
1924
Oil on canvas
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS, London

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Black Iris' 1926

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Black Iris
1926
Oil on canvas
91.4 x 75.9cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1969
Photo: Malcom Varon ? 2015
Image copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art/ Art Resource/ Scala, Florence

 

 

O’Keeffe’s large close-up paintings of flowers were intended to ‘make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers’ who often didn’t take the time to engage with nature as she did. This detail of a black iris uses a subtle colour pallet to explore the intricacies of the flower petals and their contrasting tones.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Dark Iris No. 1' 1927

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Dark Iris No. 1
1927
Oil on canvas
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS, London

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Abstraction White Rose' 1927

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Abstraction White Rose
1927
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (Santa Fe, USA)
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS, London

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Abstraction Blue' 1927

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Abstraction Blue
1927
Oil on canvas
102.1 x 76 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the Helen Acheson Bequest, 1979 ?
2015 Digital image, The Museum of Modern Art, New York / Scala, Florence

 

 

O’Keeffe experimented with abstraction in her early work, saying ‘it is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things’. Her love of nature is evident in Abstraction Blue, which hints at flower petals, clouds, the sky and the streams, rivers and seashores she enjoyed making studies of.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Shell No. 2' 1928

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Shell No. 2
1928
Oil on board
23.5 x 18.4 cm
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Gift of The Burnett Foundation, 1997
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/ DACS, London

 

 

O’Keeffe was fascinated with nature, and collected natural objects such as flowers, bones, shells and leaves to use as subjects in her paintings. Shell No.2 is unusual in the way O’Keeffe has arranged a collection of objects related to the sea, as her paintings typically show objects in isolation to their natural environment.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Two Calla Lilies on Pink' 1928

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Two Calla Lilies on Pink
1928
Oil on canvas
101.6 x 76.2cm
Philadelphia Museum of Art; Bequest of Georgia O’Keeffe for the Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1987
© Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

 

O’Keeffe was constantly inspired by nature and hoped that her paintings of enlarged flowers would draw the attention of busy New Yorkers and encourage them to appreciate the beauty in intricacy of nature that might otherwise pass them by. This piece depicts a close up of two lilies, a regularly repeated subject that earned O’Keeffe the nickname ‘The Lady of the Lily’, first coined by caricaturist Miguel Covarrubias in the New Yorker.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Grey, Blue & Black - Pink Circle' 1929

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Grey, Blue & Black – Pink Circle
1929
Oil on canvas
91.4 x 122cm
Dallas Museum of Art, gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation

 

 

Originally painted in 1929, Grey Blue & Black – Pink Circle demonstrates O’Keeffe’s interest in the European modernist movement that concentrated on the idea that visual art could or should be purely patterns of form, colour and line. Using vivid colour palettes inspired by nature, she often abstracted natural objects such as flowers, trees and shells.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'White Iris' 1930

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
White Iris
1930
Oil on canvas
40 x 30 in.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce C. Gottwald
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS, London

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Oriental Poppies' 1927

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Oriental Poppies
1927
The Collection of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS, London

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1' 1932

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1
1932
Oil paint on canvas
48 x 40 inches
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Arkansas, USA
Photography by Edward C. Robison III
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS, London

 

 

Introduction

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) is widely recognised as a foundational figure within the history of modernism in the United States, and during her lifetime became an American icon. Her career spanned more than seven decades and this exhibition encompasses her most productive years, from the 1910s to the 1960s. It aims to dispel the clichés that persist about O’Keeffe’s painting, emphasising instead the pioneering nature and breadth of her career.

O’Keeffe was born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, the daughter of Irish and Dutch-Hungarian immigrants, and died in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the age of 98. She decided to be an artist before she was 12 years old. She was the most prominent female artist in the avant-garde circle around the photographer and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946), later O’Keeffe’s husband. The first showing of her work was at Stieglitz’s New York gallery ‘291’ in 1916, now 100 years ago. Tate Modern’s exhibition therefore marks a century of O’Keeffe

 

The early years and ‘291’

“I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me – shapes and ideas so near to me … I decided to start anew – to strip away what I had been taught… I began with charcoal and paper and decided not to use any other colour until it was impossible to do what I wanted to do in black and white.”

O’Keeffe’s earliest mature works were abstractions in charcoal, made while she was working as an art teacher in Virginia and Texas. These drawings, made on a comparatively large scale, were exhibited by Alfred Stieglitz at ‘291’ (evoked by this room) in O’Keeffe’s debut in 1916 and in her first solo exhibition in 1917. O’Keeffe had sent her drawings to Anita Pollitzer, a friend from her student days, who first showed them to Stieglitz. He exclaimed: ‘finally a woman on paper’.

This early period also reveals O’Keeffe to be a gifted colourist, skilled in watercolour. Strikingly vivid paintings of the mountain landscapes of Virginia and plains of Texas demonstrate her skilful handling of colour. Her early oil paintings also took their inspiration from the landscape and show an interest in synaesthesia, the stimulation of one sense by another, for example translating sounds such as cattle lowing into abstract forms

 

Abstraction and the senses

“I paint because colour is a significant language to me.”

After moving from Texas to New York in 1918, O’Keeffe turned with greater assurance to abstraction and to oil paint as a medium. Focusing on paintings from 1918 until 1930, this room shows the importance of abstraction in O’Keeffe’s work and how she took inspiration from sensory stimulation. Here, her paintings investigate the relationship of form to music, colour and composition, showing her understanding of synaesthesia and chromothesia, or as she said ‘the idea that music could be translated into something for the eye’. We also see her early flower-abstractions.

The critical response emphasised O’Keeffe’s identity as a woman artist and attributed essential feminine qualities to her work, often hinting heavily at erotic content. Stieglitz was a major source for such attitudes and supported them by introducing psychoanalytic interpretations of her paintings. Frustrated with this limited view, O’Keeffe began to transform her style and this room includes several less widely-known hard-edged or cubist-inspired abstractions.

“When people read erotic symbols into my paintings, they’re really talking about their own affairs.

 

O’Keeffe, Stieglitz and their circle

“I have been much photographed… I am at present prejudiced in favour of photography.”

This room takes a closer look at O’Keeffe’s creative and personal partnership with Alfred Stieglitz and the circle of artists, writers and cultural figures that congregated around him and the couple. Many of their personal acquaintances are pictured in Stieglitz’s photographs, figures who impacted on their professional and private lives. This was the generation of the ‘Progressive Era’, men and women who came of age in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and who embodied an optimistic cultural nationalism, wanting to create a modern America.

Two major series of Stieglitz’s work are displayed here: his extended portrait of O’Keeffe, in which we can see her as both muse and collaborator, and his sky photographs titled Equivalents, several of which were also made as portraits of Georgia, linking the two series. Their personal and aesthetic exchange is continued in the painting A Celebration 1924, an image of clouds made by O’Keeffe the year they married. Other works by O’Keeffe can also be considered indirect portraits of Stieglitz

 

New York cityscapes

When O’Keeffe first expressed an intention to paint New York, she said, ‘Of course, I was told it was an impossible idea – even the men hadn’t done too well with it’. She made her first painting of the city in 1925, continuing with the same subject for the rest of the decade. O’Keeffe’s paintings show views from street level, the tall buildings providing an urban parallel to her early depictions of canyons in Texas and later in New Mexico. O’Keeffe and Stieglitz lived on the 30th floor of a skyscraper, and she delighted in the vantage point it afforded of the city beneath.

“I know it is unusual for an artist to want to work way up near the roof of a big hotel, in the heart of a roaring city, but I think that’s just what the artist of today needs for stimulus… Today the city is something bigger, grander, more complex than ever before in history.”

O’Keeffe stopped painting New York not long after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the year she made her first prolonged visit to New Mexico. With the onset of the Great Depression, the city’s utopian spirit vanished, and it no longer held her attention

 

Lake George

“I wish you could see the place here – there is something so perfect about the mountains and the lake and the trees – sometimes I want to tear it all to pieces – it seems so perfect – but it is really lovely.”

The rural Northeast, through Lake George in upstate New York, as well as coastal Maine and Canada, contrasts both with New York City and, later, O’Keeffe’s travels to the Southwest. Lake George in particular, where the Stieglitz family had a summer home, enabled O’Keeffe to continue her investigation of abstraction from nature. O’Keeffe first visited Lake George as a student in 1908, but during her three-decade relationship with Stieglitz, she spent summer and autumn there. ‘Here I feel smothered with green’, she remarked, revealing her ambivalence towards the location. Nevertheless, the years she spent summering there were some of the most prolific of her career.

Lake George and the Northeast suggested a different palette to O’Keeffe. Her works made there range from soft blue and green to the red and purple of maple trees and the warm red of apples and autumn leaves. Like the images of New York, there are correlations between her works and Stieglitz’s photography – key motifs include the lake itself, trees, turbulent clouds, barns and still lifes of apples or leaves

 

Flowers and still lifes

“Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small – we haven’t time – and to see takes time… So I said to myself – I’ll paint what I see – what the flower is to me, but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it – I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers… Well – I made you take time to look … and when you took time … you hung all your own associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see of the flower – and I don’t.”

O’Keeffe is renowned for her flower paintings, which she made from the 1920s until the 1950s. At first her work tended towards imaginative, semi-abstract compositions inspired by flowers, or showing the entire form of the flower, as in her delicate calla lilies of the 1920s. They progressed to works with a greater photographic realism, focusing in close-up on the blooms themselves. This move to realism was partly motivated by her aim to dispel the sexual or bodily interpretations of her work made by critics, and O’Keeffe lamented that this view continued.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Black Cross with Stars and Blue' 1929

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Black Cross with Stars and Blue
1929
Oil on canvas
101.6 x 76.2cm
Private Collection
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/ DACS, London

 

 

Black Cross with Stars and Blue demonstrates O’Keeffe’s passion for the New Mexico landscape with her talent for creating strong compositions and using a limited colour palette effectively. This early painting of New Mexico echoes her city paintings of the era, using the cross as a towering foreground for the even more monumental mountains behind.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico / Out Back of Marie's II' 1930

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico / Out Back of Marie’s II
1930
Oil on canvas mounted on board
24 1/4 x 36 1/4 in. (61.6 x 92.1cm)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Gift of The Burnett Foundation
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS, London

 

 

This is one of O’Keeffe’s earliest paintings of the New Mexico landscape after she first visited the area in the summer of 1929. It’s a beautiful example of her early style of painting, with a focus on colour and contour, simplifying and refining the dessert terrain that truly inspired her.

“When I got to New Mexico, that was mine. As soon as I saw it, that was my country. I’d never seen anything like it before, but it fitted to me exactly. It’s something that’s in the air, it’s just different. The sky is different, the stars are different, the wind is different.”

Georgia O’Keeffe in the film Georgia O’Keeffe, produced and directed by Perry Miller Adato; a WNET/THIRTEEN production for Women in Art, 1977. Portrait of an Artist, no.1; series distributed by Films, Inc./Home Vision, New York.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Rust Red Hills' 1930

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Rust Red Hills
1930
Oil on canvas
40.6 x 76.2cm
Sloan Fund Purchase Brauer Musuem of Art
Valpariaso University
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/ DACS, London

 

 

Having made the first of many trips to New Mexico the previous year, O’Keeffe was constantly inspired by the distinctive red hills of the area, and made it her permanent home in later life. In Rust Red Hills, O’Keeffe uses a range of rich colours, exploring the natural form of the local landscape and the variation of colour within the rock formations.

 

Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Taos County, New Mexico

 

Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Taos County, New Mexico, with Arroyo Hondo in the front

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Horse's Skull with Pink Rose' 1931

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Horse’s Skull with Pink Rose
1931
Oil on canvas
101.6 x 76.2cm
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation 1994
Photo: © 2015. Digital image Museum Associates/ LACMA/ Art Resource NY/ Scala, Florence

 

 

The arid desert terrain of New Mexico, where O’Keeffe spent many months in her Ghost Ranch house, was littered with animal bones which she often collected and painted. She frequently positioned these bones alongside flowers in her pieces to express how she felt about the desert she enjoyed so much.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Deer's Skull with Pedernal' 1936

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Deer’s Skull with Pedernal
1936
Oil on canvas
91.44 x 76.52cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Gift of the William H. Lane Foundation
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/ DACS, London
Photo: © 2016 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

The mountain Pedernal was visible from the front door of O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch house in New Mexico and is present in a vast amount of her paintings of the New Mexico landscape. O’Keeffe felt a deep connection with the area and described the flat top mountain as ‘my private mountain. It belongs to me’. She picked up animal skulls from the desert terrain and often used them as subjects for her paintings, which became some of her most iconic works.

“The first year I was out here I began picking up bones because there were no flowers. I wanted to take something home, something to work on… When it was time to go home I felt as if I hadn’t even started on the country and I wondered what I could take home that I could continue what I felt about the country and I couldn’t think of anything to take home but a barrel of bones. So when I got home with my barrel of bones to Lake George I stayed up there quite a while that fall and painted them. That’s where I painted my first skulls, from this barrel of bones.”

Georgia O’Keeffe in the film Georgia O’Keeffe, produced and directed by Perry Miller Adato; a WNET/THIRTEEN production for Women in Art, 1977. Portrait of an Artist, no.1; series distributed by Films, Inc./Home Vision, New York.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'From the Faraway, Nearby' 1937

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
From the Faraway, Nearby
1937
Oil in canvas
Photograph: Georgia O’Keeffe/The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource/Scala, Florence

 

 

New Mexico: Taos and Alcalde

“When I got to New Mexico that was mine. As soon as I saw it that was my country. I’d never seen anything like it before, but it fitted to me exactly. It’s something that’s in the air – it’s different. The sky is different, the wind is different. I shouldn’t say too much about it because other people may be interested and I don’t want them interested.”

In 1929 O’Keeffe made her first prolonged visit to New Mexico in the Southwestern United States, a dry and arid high altitude desert region. Initially she was invited to stay with the socialite, art patron and writer Mabel Dodge Luhan in her house in Taos, a town already home to an established artistic community.

Over the next few years, O’Keeffe made repeated visits to New Mexico. Here she had found a landscape that was a contrast to the East coast but whose rural and expansive qualities felt familiar. O’Keeffe explored the specifics of the region, the adobe or earth-built architecture, the crosses, as well as views of the wide mesas or flat mountain plateaus, revealing its cultural complexity – the layering of Native American and Spanish colonial influences on the landscape

 

From the faraway, nearby: Skull Paintings

“When I found the beautiful white bones on the desert I picked them up and took them home… I have used these things to say what is to me the wideness and wonder of the world as I live in it.”

O’Keeffe began painting animal bones, principally skulls, around 1931, but had collected them since 1929. As she explained, “that first summer I spent in New Mexico I was a little surprised that there were so few flowers. There was no rain so the flowers didn’t come. Bones were easy to find so I began collecting bones.” Wanting to take something back with her she decided “the best thing I could do was to take with me a barrel of bones.”

Writers and painters at this time were searching for a specifically American iconography, or in O’Keeffe’s words ‘the Great American Thing’. In O’Keeffe’s paintings the bones, particularly when juxtaposed with the desert landscape of the Southwest, summarise the essence of America which she felt was not in New York but was the country west of the Hudson River, which symbolised what she called ‘the Faraway’

 

Ghost Ranch

“I wish you could see what I see out the windows – the earth pink and yellow cliffs to the north – the full pale moon about to go down in an early morning lavender sky behind a very long beautiful tree-covered mesa to the west – pink and purple hills in front and the scrubby fine dull green cedars – and a feeling of much space – It is a very beautiful world.”

O’Keeffe first discovered Ghost Ranch in 1934 – a ‘dude ranch’ for wealthy tourists to gain an experience of the ‘wild west’. Though O’Keeffe wanted nothing to do with the ranch’s patrons she stayed in an adobe house on the property from 1937, purchasing the house in 1940, her first home in New Mexico. During the later 1930s and 1940s O’Keeffe deepened her exploration of the distinctive landscape of the Southwest – the intense reds and pinks of the earth and cliffs, the desiccated trees, the Chama River and the Cerro Pedernal (‘flint hill’), which is the Spanish name for the flat-topped mesa viewed in the distance from Ghost Ranch. ‘It’s my private mountain. It belongs to me’, she said, half-jokingly. ‘God told me if I painted it enough, I could have it’.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Pedernal with Red Hills (Red Hills with the Pedernal)' 1936

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Pedernal with Red Hills (Red Hills with the Pedernal)
1936
Oil on canvas
50.8 x 76.2cm
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation, 2006
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/ DACS, London

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Red Hills and White Flower' 1937

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Red Hills and White Flower
1937
Pastel on paper covered board
19 3/8 x 25 5/8 in.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Gift of the Burnett Foundation © 1987, Private Collection

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Red and Yellow Cliffs' 1940

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Red and Yellow Cliffs
1940
Oil on canvas
61 x 91.4cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Bequest of Georgia O’Keeffe, 1986
Photo: © 2015. Image copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art/ Art Resource/ Scala, Florence

 

 

The distinctive landscape of the New Mexico desert was a constant source of inspiration for O’Keeffe, from her first visit to the area in 1929. She discovered Ghost Ranch in 1934 where she made many painting trips and purchased a house there in 1940. O’Keeffe’s paintings of New Mexico terrain and the natural objects she found there became some of her best known works.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'My Backyard' 1937

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
My Backyard
1937
Oil on canvas
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/ DACS, London

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'My Front Yard, Summer' 1941

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
My Front Yard, Summer
1941
Oil on canvas
50.8 x 76.2cm
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation, 2006
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/ DACS, London

 

 

O’Keeffe was deeply inspired by the New Mexico landscape that she visited on painting trips from 1929 onwards. She bought a house at Ghost Ranch 1940 before moving there permanently in 1949 and never tired of the desert landscape that she made countless studies of. ‘It’s my private mountain. It belongs to me’, she said, half-jokingly ‘God told me if I painted it enough, I could have it’

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Red Hills and Bones' 1941

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Red Hills and Bones
1941
Oil on canvas
75.6 x 101.6cm
Philadelphia Museum of Art: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949
© Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

 

The arid desert landscape of New Mexico, where O’Keeffe had a house at Ghost Ranch, was a constant inspiration for her paintings. Red Hills and Bones depicts the distinctive red hills of the local area, exaggerating their colours in contrast to the white animal bones, which in turn mirror the ridges of the landscape in the background.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Black Place III' 1944

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Black Place III
1944
Oil on canvas
36 x 40 in.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (Santa Fe, USA)
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS, London

 

 

“The Black Place is about one hundred and fifty miles from Ghost Ranch and as you come to it over a hill, it looks like a mile of elephants – grey hills all about the same size with almost white sand at their feet. When you get into the hills you find that all the surfaces are evenly crackled so walking and climbing are easy…

I don’t remember what I painted on my first trip over there. I have gone so many times. I always went prepared to camp. There was a fine little spot quite far off the road with thick old cedar trees with handsome trunks – not very tall but making good spots of shade…

Such a beautiful, untouched lonely-feeling place – part of what I call the Far Away.”

Georgia O’Keeffe in Georgia O’Keeffe (A Studio Book), published by Viking Press, New York, 1976

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Black Place Green' 1949

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Black Place Green
1949
Oil on canvas
94.6 x 117.5 cm
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS 2016, collection of Jane Lombard

 

 

The black place and the white place

“I must have seen the Black Place first driving past on a trip into the Navajo country and, having seen it, I had to go back to paint – even in the heat of mid-summer. It became one of my favourite places to work … as you come to it over a hill, it looks like a mile of elephants – grey hills all about the same size.”

Two very specific locations recur frequently in O’Keeffe’s work. Their repetition allowed her to explore the various conditions of landscape through changing light and seasons, and its representation through degrees of abstraction. In one location, the ‘White Place’ – a site of grey-white cliffs in the Chama River valley – she explored the differing variations of light on the white limestone cliffs and contrasted this with vivid blue sky. In the more distant ‘Black Place’ – which is 150 miles west of Ghost Ranch – she progressively abstracted from observed, perceptual reality towards more intensely-coloured, non-naturalistic compositions, painted from memory.

In the ‘White Place’ and ‘Black Place’ paintings O’Keeffe also became more clearly engaged with seriality, obsessively returning to the same motif and working through it in its different permutations.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'In the Patio No IV' 1948

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
In the Patio No IV
1948
Illustration: 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/ DACS, London

 

 

“Those little squares in the door paintings are tiles in front of the door; they’re really there, so you see the painting is not abstract. It’s quite realistic. I’m always trying to paint that door – I never quite get it… It’s a curse – the way I feel I must continually go on with that door. Once I had the idea of making the door larger and the picture smaller, but then the wall, the whole surface of that wonderful wall, would have been lost.”

Georgia O’Keeffe in Katherine Kuh, The Artist’s Voice: Talks with Seventeen Artists, published by Harper & Row, New York, 1961; quoted in Georgia O’Keeffe and Her Houses, 2012.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Pelvis Series, Red with Yellow' 1945

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Pelvis Series, Red with Yellow
1945
Oil on canvas
91.8 x 122.2cm
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Extended loan, private collection
© 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/ DACS, London

 

 

During her long stays in her Ghost Ranch house in New Mexico, O’Keeffe picked up bones from the desert floor and began to paint them. This piece is part of a series of paintings she made to show the sky as seen through the various holes in a pelvis bone she found.

“When I started painting the pelvis bones I was most interested in the holes in the bones – what I saw through them – particularly the blue from holding them up against the sky… They were the most beautiful thing against the Blue – that Blue that will always be there as it is now after all man’s destruction is finished.” ~ Georgia O’Keeffe

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Pelvis Series' 1947

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Pelvis Series
1947
Oil on canvas
101.6 x 121.9cm
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS 2016, courtesy Eykyn Maclean

 

 

The series: Abiquiú Patios, pelvis bones and cottonwood trees

“When I started painting the pelvis bones I was most interested in the holes in the bones – what I saw through them – particularly the blue from holding them up in the sun against the sky… They were most beautiful against the Blue – that Blue that will always be there as it is now after all man’s destruction is finished.”

Working in series became an increasingly evident approach for O’Keeffe in the 1940s and 1950s. She developed three series simultaneously during this period, each one exploring a path towards abstraction, in parallel to developments in abstract painting in New York. They were also made against the backdrop of the Second World War (referred to in the quotation above), and of Stieglitz’s death in 1946. At the same time O’Keeffe’s work was becoming increasingly prominent, with major solo exhibitions at The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

O’Keeffe continued her investigation of bones, using pelvis bones rather than skulls, held up against the sky, or viewing a distant landscape through an aperture in the bone. Another motif was the patio of O’Keeffe’s house at Abiquiú, her second New Mexico home, with its distinctive door presented in varying degrees of naturalism and abstraction. Lastly the series of cottonwood trees reveals a more painterly approach to the serialised motif.

 

Photograph of the Chama River, New Mexico, taken by Georgia O'Keeffe

 

Photograph of the Chama River, New Mexico, taken by Georgia O’Keeffe
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS 2016

 

Tony Vaccaro. 'Georgia O'Keeffe, Taos Pueblo, New Mexico 1960' 1960

 

Tony Vaccaro (American, b. 1922)
Georgia O’Keeffe, Taos Pueblo, New Mexico 1960
1960
Gelatin silver print on paper
16.7 x 23.5cm
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA; photo courtesy Michael A. Vaccaro Studios

 

Todd Webb. 'Georgia O'Keeffe walking at the White Place, New Mexico, 1957' 1957

 

Todd Webb (American, 1905-2000)
Georgia O’Keeffe walking at the White Place, New Mexico, 1957
1957
© Estate of Todd Webb, Portland, Maine, USA

 

 

The Southwest

“Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.”

O’Keeffe’s engagement with the Southwest was deep and enduring. This room includes drawings and sketches that reveal aspects of her working method as she immersed herself within the landscape or worked back in one of her two houses and their respective studios. It also includes photographs of O’Keeffe taken by Stieglitz in New York State, but with attributes that place her in the Southwest such as Native American blankets and her car – a sign of her independence. Other photographs are by her close friend Ansel Adams who shared her fascination with the Southwest, its landscape and cultures.

From her arrival in New Mexico and spanning the 1930s and 1940s, O’Keeffe also made a number of paintings of Native American ‘kachinas’ – figures of spirit beings carved in wood or modelled in clay and painted. These works make clear O’Keeffe’s awareness of the indigenous Native American cultures of the region and show her fascination with their ritual life. Painting the objects was for her a way of painting the country

 

Late abstracts and skyscapes

“One day when I was flying back to New Mexico, the sky below was a most beautiful solid white. It looked so secure that I thought I could walk right out on it to the horizon if the door opened. It was so wonderful I couldn’t wait to be home to paint it.”

This final room shows O’Keeffe’s late paintings of the 1950s and 1960s, focusing on two series that are inspired by aeroplane journeys she took in her later years. One series of the late 1950s takes its cue primarily from aerial views of rivers, which O’Keeffe transformed to create lyrical abstractions that hark back to her earliest works in oil, watercolour and charcoal from the 1910s. A second series of stylised near-abstractions represents the view from a plane over the clouds. Both reveal her awareness of contemporary abstract painting, particularly colour field painting, then dominating American art. O’Keeffe’s works were always rooted in a direct experience of the landscape and her emotional connection to it, and continued to be so until the end of her career.

“It is breathtaking as one rises up over the world one has been living in… It is very handsome way off into the level distance … like some marvellous rug patterns of maybe “Abstract Paintings”.”

Text from the Tate Modern website

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'From the River - Pale' 1959

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
From the River – Pale
1959
Oil on canvas
Photograph: 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/ DACS, London

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Winter Road I' 1963

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Winter Road I
1963
Oil on canvas
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS 2016

 

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) 'Sky Above Clouds IV' 1965

 

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986)
Sky Above Clouds IV
1965
Oil on canvas
243.8 x 731.5cm
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS 2016, courtesy Art Institute of Chicago

 

 

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21
Aug
10

Exhibition: ‘Alfred Stieglitz: the Lake George years’ at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

Exhibition dates: 17th June – 5th September 2010

 

Alfred Stieglitz. 'Ford V-8' 1935

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Ford V-8
1935
Gelatin silver photograph
19.5 x 24.3cm
George Eastman House, part purchase and part gift from Georgia O’Keeffe

 

 

Many thankx to Susanne Briggs and the Art Gallery of New South Wales for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

“… much has happened in photography that is sensational, but very little that is comparable with what Stieglitz did. The body of his work, the key set – I think – is the most beautiful photographic document of our time.”

.
Georgia O’Keeffe 1978

 

 

The photographs Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) took around his summer house at Lake George, New York state, USA after 1915 are considered a major departure and dramatically influenced the course of photography. The desire to build a specifically ‘American’ art led Stieglitz to explore the essential nature of photography, released from contrivances and from intervention in print and negative. “Photography is my passion. The search for truth my obsession,” he would write in 1921.

This major exhibition is the first in Australia of Stieglitz’s photographs. 150 are included and are amongst the very best Stieglitz ever printed. They are also the rarest. One third of the exhibition is being lent by the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, which holds ‘the key set’ – selected by his lover, muse and wife, the artist Georgia O’Keeffe, and deposited there after Stieglitz’s death.

 

 

Alfred Stieglitz. ‘City of ambition’ 1911

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
City of ambition
1911
Photogravure
33.9 x 26.0cm
George Eastman House, Museum purchase from Museum of Modern Art, New York

 

Alfred Stieglitz. 'Ellen Koeniger' 1916

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Ellen Koeniger
1916
Gelatin silver photograph
11.1 x 9.1cm
J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

 

Alfred Stieglitz. 'Waldo Frank' 1920

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Waldo Frank
1920
Palladium photograph
25.1 x 20.2cm
Art Institute of Chicago, Alfred Stieglitz Collection

 

 

Waldo David Frank was an American novelist, historian, political activist, and literary critic, who wrote extensively for The New Yorker and The New Republic during the 1920s and 1930s.

 

Alfred Stieglitz. 'Spiritual America' 1923

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Spiritual America
1923
Gelatin silver photograph
11.7 x 9.2cm
Philadelphia Museum of Art: the Alfred Stieglitz Collection 1949

 

 

The photographs Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) took around his summer house at Lake George, New York state, USA after 1915 are considered a major departure and dramatically influenced the course of photography. The desire to build a specifically ‘American’ art led Stieglitz to explore the essential nature of photography, released from contrivances and from intervention in print and negative.

‘Stieglitz’s mature photographs from the 1910s onwards are free from any sense that photography must refer to something outside of itself in order to express meaning,’ said Judy Annear, senior curator photography, Art Gallery of New South Wales.

This major exhibition is the first in Australia of Stieglitz’s photographs. 150 are included and are amongst the very best Stieglitz ever printed. They are also the rarest. One third of the exhibition is being lent by the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, which holds ‘the key set’ – selected by his lover, muse and wife, the artist Georgia O’Keeffe, and deposited there after Stieglitz’s death.

‘Passionate and provocative; charismatic, verbose and intellectually voracious; a self described revolutionist and iconoclast with an unwavering belief in the efficacy of radical action; competitive, egotistical, narcissistic and at times duplicitous, but also endowed with a remarkable ability to establish a deep communion with those around him – these are but some of the adjectives that can be used to describe Alfred Stieglitz,’ said Sarah Greenough, senior curator of photographs, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Major loans are also coming from the J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, and George Eastman House, Rochester amongst others.

The exhibition begins with a selection of Stieglitz’s photographs from the 1910s including those that he took at his gallery 291 in New York City of artists and collaborators, including O’Keeffe. Stieglitz was a superb photographic printer and dedicated to aesthetics in publishing. A number of the later editions (from 1911-1917) of his publication Camera work – described as the most beautiful journal in the world – are included.

Stieglitz’s portraits grew steadily in power in the 1910s and 20s, and continued to be a major part of his photographic practice. He would sometimes photograph his subjects over and over again and none more so than O’Keeffe, whom he met in 1916.

Stieglitz photographed O’Keeffe for the first time in 1917. He continued to photograph her from every angle, clothed and unclothed, indoors and out until his last photographs from 1936/1937. In all there are more than 300 photographs of O’Keeffe which convey all the nuances of their relationship in that 20-year period. A selection is included.

Stieglitz first visited Lake George in the 1870s with his parents. The visits slowed until the 1910s but from 1917 until his death he spent every summer there. Stieglitz’s ashes are buried at Lake George.

The photographs of people, buildings, landscapes and skies that Stieglitz took at Lake George form a collective portrait of a place which has not been rivalled in the history of photography worldwide for its subtlety of feeling expressed in the simplest of terms.

Stieglitz developed the idea for his cloud photographs in 1922 because he wanted to create images which carried the emotional impact of music and to disprove the idea being put about that he hypnotised his (human) subjects. The first title for the cloud photographs was simply Music: a sequence…; this was eventually superseded by Equivalent as Stieglitz believed that these photographs could exist as the visual equivalent to other forms of expression.

Stieglitz changed the course of photography worldwide and has influenced major figures in photography from Minor White to Robert Mapplethorpe, Max Dupain to Tracey Moffatt and Bill Henson.”

Press release from the Art Gallery of New South Wales website

 

Alfred Stieglitz. 'Georgia O'Keeffe: a portrait' 1918

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe: a portrait
1918
Platinum photograph
24.6 x 19.7cm
The J. Paul Getty Museum
Copyright J. Paul Getty Trust

 

Alfred Stieglitz. 'Georgia O'Keeffe' 1920

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe
1920
Gelatin silver photograph
23.5 x 19.69cm
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Alfred Stieglitz Collection. Gift of Georgia O’Keeffe

 

 

“Stieglitz is too easily bundled in amongst a rush to the reductions of modernism and cubism, the time he inhabits and the new technology he is stretching make that almost inevitable. On looking at the images here it feels like a mistake to label him that simply. We can see hints of the abstract, the grids of Mondrian or the blocks of Braque, but his work is as human and as smudged as a fingerprint. It is this sense of flaw and serendipity is what makes him so different to photographers like Man Ray for Stieglitz seems to embrace the beauty of imperfection. The memorable works here inhabit a world of infinite shining gradations between black and white, they are expansive and open rather than reductive and finished, in doing this Stieglitz’s greatest innovation might be to take a static form and make it so intensely moving.”

John Matthews on his Art Kritique blog Sunday 15 August 2010 [Online] Cited 22/12/2019

 

Alfred Stieglitz. 'Self-portrait' 1907, printed 1930

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Self-portrait
1907, printed 1930
Gelatin silver photograph
24.8 x 18.4cm
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'From the Back Window – 291' 1915

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
From the Back Window – 291
1915
Platinum print
25.1 x 20.2cm (9 7/8 x 7 15/16 in.)
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949

 

 

From the Back Window – 291 is a black and white photograph taken by Alfred Stieglitz in 1915. The picture was taken at night from a back window of his 291 gallery in New York. Its one of the several that he took that year from that window, including at a snowy Winter.

The night photograph depicts an urban cityscape of New York. The reigning darkness is leavened by several sources of artificial light. The background building is the 105 Madison Avenue, at the southeast corner of Madison and 30th Street, while the smaller building with the advertisements is 112 Madison Avenue.

Stieglitz seems to have taken inspiration from a recent exhibition of Cubist painters Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque at the 291 gallery, which would explain his interest in the geometrical forms and lines, but also of the 19th century photographers, like David Octavius Hill. He wrote then to R. Child Bailey: “I have done quite some photography recently. It is intensely direct. Portraits. Buildings from my back window at 291, a whole series of them, a few landscapes and interiors. All interrelated. I know nothing outside of Hill’s work which I think is so direct, and quite so intensely honest.” The picture also seems still reminiscent of Pictorialism, while being more in the straight photography style.

There are prints of this photograph at several public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and at the Williams College Museum of Art, in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe: A Portrait (15)' 1930

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe: A Portrait (15)
1930
Gelatin silver print
The Alfred Stieglitz Collection – Gift of the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation and M. and M. Karolik Fund
Photograph: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Alfred Stiegitz (American, 1864-1946) 'The Steerage' 1907

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
The Steerage
1907
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Miss Georgia O’Keeffe

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Hodge Kirnon' 1917

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Hodge Kirnon
1917
Palladium print
9 11/15 x 7 13/16 in
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949

 

The noted West Indian scholar and historian Hodge Kirnon leaning against a doorframe.

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Georgia O'Keeffe – Torso' 1918

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Georgia O’Keeffe – Torso
1918
Gelatin silver print
23.6 x 18.8cm (9 5/16 x 7 3/8 in.)
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Gift of Mrs. Alma Wertheim, 1928

 

 

Stieglitz took dozens of pictures of O’Keeffe’s body, including her hands and her nude torso. The photograph depicts her naked torso, seen from below, with her arms only partially visible and without showing her head. The Torso, with its uplifted arms and muscular thighs, has a sculptoric quality that seems influenced by Auguste Rodin, whose work Stieglitz knew well and had shown at the Photo-Secession.

The Torso was in the Stieglitz exhibition at the Anderson Galleries in New York, where he presented pictures of several parts of the body of O’Keeffe, and which had a particular impact. Herbert Seligmann wrote that “Hands, feet, hands and breasts, torsos, all parts and attitudes of the human body seen with a passion of revelation, produced an astonishing effect on the multitudes who wandered in and out of the rooms”.

A print of this picture sold for $1,360,000 at Sotheby’s New York, on 14 February 2006, making it the second most expensive price reached by a Stieglitz photograph.

There are prints of Torso at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., The Art Institute of Chicago, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and the Museé d’Orsay, in Paris.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946) 'Songs of the Sky' 1924

 

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
Songs of the Sky
1924
Gelatin silver print
9.2 x 11.8cm (3 5/8 x 4 5/8 in.)

 

 

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, an art and cultural memory archive, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

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